While Twin Galaxies and Billy Mitchell have a court date looming in their future, Guinness World Records seems to be throwing in the towel. They recently announced that, as of June 10, they were restoring Mitchell’s high score records related to Donkey Kong and the first perfect score in Pac-Man, among other feats.
Guinness World Records is always open to accepting new evidence for historical achievements, and to reviewing new and existing evidence for disputed titles.
In this case, a re-examination of the records in question and the emergence of key eyewitness and expert testimonials led to a reversal of earlier disqualifications and the reinstating of Mr Mitchell’s original records. The records archive has been updated accordingly to reflect this.
Mitchell himself made the following statement after Guinness made its announcement: “I wanted to clear my name and resume my role as one of the key personalities and promoters of competitive eSports. It took more than two years and an abundance of indisputable facts, eyewitnesses, and expert testimony to prove all of my records were legitimate. I want to thank two industry giants, Walter Day and Robbie Lakeman, for their continued support and for providing valuable testimony to Guinness World Records as to the validity and legitimacy of my world titles and firsts.”
Walter Day was the original founder of Twin Galaxies, while Robbie Lakeman currently holds the high score in Donkey Kong. Lakeman himself also released a brief statement, saying, “After reviewing Billy’s gameplay, and reproducing similar games myself, I can honestly say that this is legitimate gameplay. I do not see a reason why Billy would even need to use MAME, or save states to film both games with this style of play.”
This turn of events will undoubtedly have repercussions for the relationship between Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records. Before this, Twin Galaxies was the official source and authenticator of video game-related records for Guinness. If Guinness is restoring the records while Twin Galaxies is continuing its litigation, it may indicate Guinness doesn’t have faith in Twin Galaxies any longer. Or it may merely be a case where settling out of court and restoring the records was less trouble than trying to verify a record in front of a jury.