It’s been an interesting week for the classic gaming scene. Last week, Twin Galaxies announced that it would strike Billy Mitchell’s high scores in games like Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Pac-Man from its leaderboards and ban him from submitting new scores after other Twin Galaxies members disputed them. It’s a decision that certainly wasn’t made lightly, as Billy Mitchell is probably the most famous face in retro gaming and has been deeply involved with Twin Galaxies since its founding in the 1980s.
The decision from Twin Galaxies came after a months-long investigation prompted by an official dispute thread on the organization’s forums. The dispute alleged that Mitchell achieved his scores on an emulator and not original hardware, which opens the door to cheating through a variety of methods. For that reason, Twin Galaxies requires that all valid high scores be achieved on original hardware, something it’s no longer convinced Mitchell did after its investigation.
That’s the long and short of it, at least, but this whole controversy may not be over yet. In a new statement made to Old School Gamer Magazine, Billy Mitchell says that he’ll soon present evidence to show that his records were achieved in a manner that aligns with Twin Galaxies’ rules, with “nothing” withheld.
“The fact of the matter is, now there is a true professional due diligence being done to investigate things that happened as far as 35 years ago in a professional manner, not in a shock-jock mentality designed to create hits,” Mitchell said. You can watch the full statement in the embedded video above.
Whether or not Mitchell actually has evidence that his scores were achieved on original hardware is anyone’s guess. The dispute – and the evidence that has been presented since the dispute was initially filed – makes a fairly solid case for Mitchell’s scores being set using a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) and not original hardware, which would keep his scores invalidated even if he didn’t use the MAME to cheat.
In any case, the ball is certainly in Mitchell’s court if he wants to prove everything is on the up and up. His statement suggests that it might still be a while before we see the evidence he has, as he says it’s taken a long time to collect everything. We’ll see hopefully see if what he has is enough to prove his scores are legitimate soon, so stay tuned.