It’s been a rough week for the King of Kong. After several months of investigation by three different parties, it was determined that former Donkey Kong arcade champ Billy Mitchell broke the rules. Mitchell was once the world record holder for the highest score on the original Donkey Kong, and he was also once considered the first player to record a score of over 1,000,000. That’s not how he’ll be remembered.
Video game world record tracker Twin Galaxies and two other investigating groups ruled that Mitchell had submitted high scores achieved on emulators rather than actual arcade machines. Twin Galaxies has a clear and strict policy about the conditions under which records must be set, and Mitchell was well acquainted with those rules. In response, Twin Galaxies removed all of Mitchell’s high scores (officially making Steve Wiebe the first player to achieve a legal score of 1,000,000) and banned him from submitting any future scores.
As the week rolls on, the consequences continue to pile up for Mitchell. In their official statement, Twin Galaxies also revealed that they had notified Guinness World Records of their ruling. Guinness has responded swiftly, and it’s more bad news for Mitchell.
“The Guinness World Records titles relating to Mr. Mitchell’s highest scores on Donkey Kong have all been disqualified due to Twin Galaxies being our source of verification for these achievements.
“We also recognize records for First perfect score on Pac-Man and Highest score on Pac-Man. Twin Galaxies was the original source of verification for these record titles and in line with their decision to remove all of Mr. Mitchell’s records from their system, we have disqualified Mr. Mitchell as the holder of these two records. Guinness World Records will look to update and find the appropriate holder of these records in the next few days.”
— Guinness World Records
Guinness can only count something as a record if they have a verified source. Twin Galaxies was their source for all of Mitchell’s records, so their decision is mirrored by Guinness. In addition to the
Donkey Kong records, Mitchell will also lose his records for Highest Score and First Perfect Score on Pac-Man. Steve Wiebe, the new first man to 1,000,000, had this to say about these developments.
“The more I thought about it from the ‘King of Kong’ days, it all seemed to make sense now. All the things that were happening at the time… like why he didn’t come out and play me, and why he was inciting whose records were going to be authenticated and who’s were going to be dropped. ‘King of Kong’ referenced that that he was a referee and on the board of directors. When that leaked out, it started to make more sense.
“I’m not the champ any more, but getting recognition for being the first to a million is a great consolation. That’s what I was really bummed out about 11 years ago.
“Billy will have his turn to say something in response, for now I’m just in awe.”
— Steve Wiebe
Mitchell has not yet responded directly to these decisions. Instead, he had
a friend release a statement announcing that Mitchell would make his official statement at The Midwest Gaming Classic. Apparently his response needs some fanfare and marketing. The Midwest Gaming Classic is happening right now and lasts through the weekend, so we can expect Mitchell’s response sometime in the next few days.