Although the Awesome Games Done Quick is supposed to be about fun and community, the latest move by the event has drawn some criticism. In an effort to clean up the Games Done Quick livestream, the organization has decided to impose a subscriber-only limitation on the chat.
Initially, Awesome Games Done Quick began with a standard chat but it wasn’t long before the subscribers-only mode was turned on. Once on, the only way for anyone to interact in the chat was to pay $4.99 in order to gain access.
As expected, gamers were not pleased by the restriction, especially since Twitch chat is part of the fun of the Games Done Quick livestreams. Yes, the focus is on the speed runs and the runners, but many like to interact with each other during the lulls. Well, technically Twitch chat likes to meme during the Games Done Quick runs but that is still part of the fun, and limiting that is going to cause some frustration.
At the same time, anyone that has been part of a Twitch chat with upwards of 5,000 viewers (AGDQ averages over 100,000) knows that things can get toxic. No matter how many moderators are in place there is sure to be comments that slip through the cracks and the more GDQ grows, the worse racist/homophobic/sexist comments look. This is an organization with tons of sponsors and that regularly raises upwards of $1 million for charity, so it’s imperative to keep derogatory language out.
But things get tricky when you consider that in order to chat, viewers need to subscribe using Twitch and therefore the streaming service gets a cut of every paying chatter. AGDQ has said that it will donate all subscriber money to charity, but Twitch actually gets that money as revenue.
It’s a really sticky situation for an event that used to be fun and loose and is now mired in controversy every year. The good news is that the stream still generates tons of money for charity and the speed runs are still of a high quality, but the business around the stream has become a lot messier. Hopefully, the folks behind the event can come up with a better solution moving forward, because subscriber-only chat does not seem to be the answer.