Billy Mitchell is among the most recognizable video game players in the gaming community. He shot to fame by claiming high scores in classic arcade games such as Pac-Man. However, video game scoreboard Twin Galaxies stripped him of his Donkey Kong scores two years ago after an investigation revealed that the former champion achieved his high scores on an emulator instead of an authentic arcade hardware.
Mitchell refuted Twin Galaxies’ claim in September 2019 and in return, threatened a “legal recourse” if the organization’s “defamatory statements” won’t be retracted. He argues that Twin Galaxies’ statement is “libelous in its face” as it asserts that the former record holder “did not achieve his scores legitimately.”
“Twin Galaxies called Mitchell a cheater who had established his records under false pretenses, or, at least, implied as much, so that any reasonable reader would understand that Twin Galaxies had called Mitchell a cheater who deserved punishment by stripping him of all his Twin Galaxy records and banning him for life from submitting further records,” Mitchell’s complaint read.
Now, a report by Ars Technica revealed that Mitchell had already filed a lawsuit against Twin Galaxies in April 2019 in a bid to avoid California’s statute of limitations for cases related to defamation. Ars Technica said that the case was officially served to Twin Galaxies this February and a court hearing is scheduled to happen on July 6.
In Twin Galaxies’ defense, it said that its statements against Mitchell were not defamatory and the court deciding in favor of the former record holder “would have chilling effects on the freedom of speech.” This means that if Mitchell wins the case against Twin Galaxies, it would set a precedent and would likely affect relevant cases in the future.