Twin Galaxies Reinstates Disgraced Gamer Billy Mitchell's Records With A Key Caveat

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Billy Mitchell's lawsuit against Twin Galaxies for removing his Donkey Kong scores has been settled out of court, and Twin Galaxies has put Mitchell's scores back in the books... sort of. In a statement, Twin Galaxies acknowledged the explanation given by Mitchell's expert witness, Dr. Michael Zyda, and said that it had taken note of it and would reinstate Mitchell's scores in the company's historical database. However, the very same scores still do not appear on the official leaderboard, leaving Mitchell in a strange position.

Mitchell filed his suit in 2019, alleging it was defamation when Twin Galaxies removed his Donkey Kong scores and banned Mitchell from submitting further scores on the grounds that he didn't use unmodified hardware, which constitutes cheating. The smoking gun was the fact that footage of Mitchell's gameplay showed the game loading in the same way the MAME emulator does, which is disimilar from unmodified arcade hardware. However, the two parties settled, and Twin Galaxies acknowledged the expert testimony of Dr. Zyda, who claimed that the recording hardware could have had improper frame alignment, or aging, marginal hardware could have produced the visuals present on the video tape. Dr. Zyda, however, did not test the recording hardware in question. Nevertheless, Mitchell's scores are now back in the historical database.
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While Twin Galaxies did clearly make two concessions in its statement, it's questionable whether Mitchell really got what he wanted in the end. Twin Galaxies never said Dr. Zyda's explanation was correct, and Mitchell's scores are still absent from the normal leaderboard present on the company's website. Plus, the historical database has a large disclaimer at the top of the page, reading "[the database] serves as an unmodified, legacy snapshot preserving performances and achievements predating the current TG ownership and modern adjudication protocols."

Twin Galaxies is also not-so-subtly taking jabs at Mitchell with new items in its store: t-shirts and coffee mugs showing the difference between how a real Donkey Kong arcade machine renders a level and how MAME does. It's a bold move for a company that just settled on a defamation lawsuit with the notoriously litigious Mitchell.

Although Mitchell has claimed victory in an Instagram post, he also says he has "unfinished business elsewhere," which presumably refers to his other defamation lawsuit against Australian YouTuber and journalist Karl Jobst. It seems certain that, unlike the Twin Galaxies suit, this case will be going to trial as Jobst vowed to do in his latest video, saying Mitchell "cannot escape his lawsuit." Should Mitchell drop the case beforehand, he would apparently be on the hook for Jobst's legal fees, which are apparently in the hundreds of thousands of dollars already.