October 4th, 2012 - Competitive gaming fans were stunned today upon visiting the Twin Galaxies website to discover perhaps the biggest bombshell in the organization's 31-year history.
Sometime during the mid-afternoon of October 3rd, hits to the TwinGalaxies.com homepage began redirecting to a subdirectory of "the-1up.com"—homepage of Denver, Colorado's The 1Up bar/arcade, which will be hosting the upcoming Kong Off II.
Visitors were met with a statement informing them that the site was moving and would return "in 5-7 days."
Beginning early the following day, however, the message was updated:
Former Twin Galaxies staff member Patrick Scott Patterson fielded a few questions about the situation on his Facebook page, but divulged very little of the already very little that is generally known at this time.
There is, however, some highly-legible "writing on the wall:"
- The redirect to the-1up.com evinces an obvious relationship between the two parties. Whether the redirect is a temporary favor on the part of The 1up, or something bigger, is yet to be known.
- The admission that the organization is in the process of a physical move to Denver, Colorado—the location of The 1up—is strong evidence of exactly what that "something bigger" might be.
One thing is for sure: with only two weeks remaining before the deadline to qualify for the Kong Off 2 (a Twin Galaxies-verified million points or better on Donkey Kong), and with at least two players that I know of burning the midnight joystick-oil in an attempt to squeak through, this development couldn't have come at a worse time!
In the larger picture, however, the news may be very happy indeed.
There has existed for many years (in fact, probably beginning within days of Twin Galaxies' very first verified scores) a group of individuals with an axe to grind against the organization.
Nobody ever accused competitive video gamers of being easygoing, and the constant supply of high drama on display in social networks, forums, and films such as Chasing Ghosts and The King of Kong will bear this out.
Everybody seems to have their own personal tale of struggle against the Evil Empire of Videogame Scorekeeping, or at the very least a blood feud with someone who is or was on the inside.
Within the past year and a half, though (in the wake of a previous change of ownership), we have moved beyond the standard baseline level of indignant Twin Galaxies hatred and escalated to a widespread, brimming fury—whether over referee judgments, management decisions, or the horrifically retooled official website.
Even the most casual outsider will be able to catch a strong whiff of victory just from the above placeholder message, not unlike the way coalition forces in Iraq probably felt after the deposition of Saddam Hussein.
A transfer to new ownership may be the dawn of a new era, a chance for all to put old grudges behind and move into the future.
I wouldn't bet on it lasting for very long, since it may only be a matter of days before somebody starts an argument over dipswitch settings that metastasizes into a bitter, 27-year-long saga, but here's hoping for the best!
Updated: Twin Galaxies has been acquired by Jordan Adler (owner of the 1up) and "The King of Arcades" Richie Knucklez. No surprises here, but if this situation had a "Like" button, I would click it.