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Guinness rolls over, says Billy Mitchell is still Donkey Kong and Pac-Man king

Meanwhile, competing organization Twin Galaxies still has its doubts

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

In 2018 Billy Mitchell’s record-breaking scores in Donkey Kong and Pac-Man were thrown out, invalidated because of alleged cheating. Now, Guinness World Records has reinstated those scores, citing additional evidence and expert verification. Speaking with Ars Technica, Mitchell himself says “it’s been a long time coming.”

The announcement was made in a video Thursday posted on YouTube, which we’ve embedded above.

The new evidence comes from Mitchell himself, a portion of which was included in a hefty lawsuit against Guinness and another record-keeping body, Twin Galaxies. Guinness’ decision was also based on expert analysis by other classic arcade game players.

As of Thursday, Mitchell is once again recognized by Guinness as the first player to reach a perfect score — 3,333,360 points — in Pac-Man. That organization also recognizes him as the first player to reach one million points in Donkey Kong. The records were set in 1999 and 2005, respectively.

Twin Galaxies still refuses to acknowledge either record. Notably, the relationship between Mitchell and Twin Galaxies’ owner and CEO Jace Hall remains confrontational. Legal proceedings between the two are ongoing. To that end, Hall’s only comment, delivered to Ars Technica by email, was a picture of Kermit the Frog sipping a cup of Lipton tea.

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