The lawsuit between Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies was settled out of court, and Mitchell's contested records have been reinstated on the site–just not on the main leaderboards.

Billy Mitchell, the competitive arcade gamer and former Donkey Kong world record holder, has settled his feud with arcade scorekeeping website Twin Galaxies, with the latter reinstating his records–albeit as a “historical database.”

Courthouse News Service reported last week that Mitchell’s lawsuit against Twin Galaxies reached a confidential settlement, months before the case was set to go to court. Today, both parties released their own statements about Mitchell’s contested records.

“Twin Galaxies has reinstated all of my world records from my videogame career,” started Mitchell’s statement, as posted to Twitter. He quoted part of Twin Galaxies’ own statement, before concluding with: “I am relieved and satisfied to reach this resolution after an almost six year ordeal and look forward to pursuing my unfinished business elsewhere.” Mitchell signs off his statement with “never surrender.”

The tweet has already had a community note added, however, which adds the rest of the context contained in Twin Galaxies’ more extensive statement. This statement notes new evidence that was brought by Mitchell in the form of an expert named Dr. Michael Zyda, who testified that the suspicious elements in Mitchell’s original tapes could have occurred on an original, unmodified Donkey Kong arcade machine if it was malfunctioning due to hardware degradation.

The statement by Twin Galaxies doesn’t state that this new evidence has changed its own internal ruling, instead saying “Twin Galaxies seeks to disclose all and any evidence so that individuals can form their own judgments.”

However in light of Dr. Zyda’s testimony, and “consistent with Twin Galaxies’ dedication to the meticulous documentation and preservation of video game score history,” the statement reads, “Twin Galaxies shall heretofore reinstate all of Mr. Mitchell’s scores as part of the official historical database on Twin Galaxies’ website.”

The “historical database” in question is a newly added section of the website which displays Twin Galaxies’ leaderboards as they appeared in 2014, when the site was acquired by its current owners. “As a matter of archival integrity and providing continuous access to records under previous administrative standards, this database remains static and sealed,” a notice at the top of the page reads. “No new submissions or alterations can be made, only original scores and titles retained as they existed upon ingestion in 2014.”

While Mitchell’s records are displayed on the historical section of the website, they don’t appear on the live version of Twin Galaxies’ Donkey Kong records, where his high score of 1,062,800 would have otherwise seen him in 17th place.

Neither Mitchell or Twin Galaxies statements mention the trial or settlement, though the two appear to be related. In an interview with Ars Technica, Twin Galaxies attourney David Tashroudian said that the settlement was a “business decision” made to avoid costs. “It would have definitely been a fun trial and an interesting one considering all the facts,” Tashroudian said. “There were going to be an inordinate amount of costs involved, and both parties were facing a lot of uncertainty at trial, and they wanted to get the matter settled on their own terms without putting it to a jury,” he said, adding that many cases reach settlement before going to trial.

Mitchell also had his Guinness World Records for both Donkey Kong and Pacman reinstated in 2020, after a review of the evidence.

By amaris stark

Amaris Stark, a writing virtuoso, creates stories that bewitch her audience. With an impressive eye for detail, she engulfs readers in intricate worlds and develops characters with depth. Furthermore, her multi-faceted understanding of gaming industries injects her narratives with a potency and dynamism that can only be found between the pages of her stories. Valued as a chief asset of any game page editor, her creative energy and passionate writing style will make readers swoon in delight over their beloved characters and places.