Infamous The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters character Billy Mitchell is suing Twin Galaxies for defamation. In April 2018, Mitchell was stripped of his Guinness Book of World Records Donkey Kong titles after it was discovered that he had been cheating. At the time, the disgraced former record holder vowed to prove his innocence with a mountain of evidence, including witness statements. It’s been two years since then and Mitchell has yet to come up with the promised evidence, though he has gone forward with a lawsuit.
Billy Mitchell and his legal representation actually filed the Twin Galaxies lawsuit back in April 2019. They had to file within a year to comply with California’s statute of limitations in regard to filing a defamation lawsuit. In September 2019, Mitchell and his lawyers said they would be forced to “resort to legal recourse” if Twin Galaxies didn’t reinstate Mitchell’s scores. Obviously, they did not do that. Twin Galaxies has gone out of their way not to call Mitchell a cheater over the years. Instead, they say that the disgraced former record holder, “demonstrated impossibility of original unmodified Donkey Kong arcade hardware to produce specific board transition images shown in the videotaped recordings of those adjudicated performances.”
The next court hearing is set for July of this year where it will be determined whether Billy Mitchell’s video game lawsuit counts as a SLAPP suit, aka Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. This type of lawsuit is used to “silence critics of an individual or an organization by forcing the critics to go to court to defend their actions.” Basically, Mitchell is trying to get his reputation back, though a SLAPP suit isn’t usually looked at as a “win” in the public eye. It’s meant to complicate criticism and to some, it goes against Freedom of Speech laws.
Even if Billy Mitchell wins the defamation lawsuit, he will not hold any Donkey Kong world records, except for the first person to reach 1 million points, which now belongs to his King of Kong nemesis Steve Wiebe. Both Mitchell and Wiebe’s scores have since been beaten in legitimate ways, so Mitchell is really looking to get the first million score on Donkey Kong back, along with his reputation. While The King of Kong documentary does not come out and directly call Mitchell a cheater, it certainly implies that he was up to something.
Billy Mitchell provided “25 sworn affidavits” from eyewitnesses supporting his claims, instead of handing over physical evidence, aka the hardware. Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day is on Mitchell’s side and says he “finds it unexplainable that my testimony as the founder and former owner is disregarded, while others, specifically the ones against Billy, are embraced.” Mitchell claims that Twin Galaxies made their decision on bias, while the organization denies those claims. The site just wants to keep the “integrity” of its leaderboards going forward, which they cannot do with Mitchell’s scores on the board. Arstechnica was the first to report on the new King of Kong lawsuit.