Billy Mitchell, the man once known as the first man to hit a million points in the original Donkey Kong, has threatened legal action against Twin Galaxies and The Guinness Book of World Records over an investigation that led to his recorded scores (several of which were world records) being vacated.
Formerly known as "The King of Kong", Billy Mitchell had been setting records left and right starting in 1982. Decades later, someone had noticed something a bit off with one of his recorded videos — it appeared as if the record had been attained with an emulator, something that is against the rules at Twin Galaxies. (The Guinness Book of World Records uses Twin Galaxies as their source for video game world records.) This led to an investigation, and said investigation resulted in all of Mr. Mitchell's scores being removed.
Billy Mitchell and the Defamation LawsuitAs reported by Polygon, Billy Mitchell has sent legal notice to both Twin Galaxies and The Guinness Book of World Records. The letter asserts that neither Twin Galaxies nor Guinness gave Mr. Mitchell a fair shake to defend himself against the allegations. In particular, it takes issue with allegations that he used MAME (a popular arcade game emulator) to get his records, especially since some of them were achieved before MAME existed.
It is important to note that Guinness World Records never conducted an investigation into Billy Mitchell’s Pac-Man records. As a matter of fact, there is no evidence to support Guinness World Records’ assertion that Mitchell’s Pac-Man scores “NEVER WERE,” or were “obtained while using MAME.” Lastly, there is certainly no evidence to support the claim that all his “submitted scores,” from 1982 to 2018, were achieved while using MAME. This is especially ridiculous considering MAME was created in 1997, and the majority of Mitchell’s scores occur in the 1980’s.Mr. Mitchell's lawyers have given Twin Galaxies and The Guinness Book of World Records 14 days to review a packet of evidence (viewable at Reddit's /r/speedrun subreddit) and reverse their decision; failure to do so will result in legal action against them.
Will the King of Kong reclaim his title? It's impossible to know the full scope of the original investigation. If Twin Galaxies and Guinness hold their ground, we're likely to see a much more detailed assessment of the situation coming out over the next few years.
Do you think Billy Mitchell deserved to have all of his high scores removed from Twin Galaxies? What do you think the result of this letter will be? Let us know in the comments below!