Post Malone Buys Lord Of The Rings Card Worth Over $2 Million

The One Ring is held up by Post Malone and Brook Trafton alongside MTG art.

Screenshot: Brook Trafton / Wizards of the Coast

When Wizards of the Coast adapted Lord of the Rings into a Magic: The Gathering set, it decided to create a special variant of Sauron’s Ring that would be one of a kind. The hyper-rare card was first found back in June and now the owner has sold it to rapper Post Malone. The amount hasn’t been confirmed yet, but others have offered millions in the past.

“When I found the One Ring, the first person who came to mind was Post Malone,” the card’s first owner, Brook Trafton, wrote in a new TikTok video of the two meeting for the trade. “I have played MTG since I was a kid and it would be amazing to keep this card. But for a guy like me, being able to sell it is life changing.”

The odds of finding the One Ring in a pack from the recently released The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set was roughly 1 in 3 million. After Trafton became the lucky player, the card recieved a mint 9-grade ranking and an estimated valuation of $2 million. Spanish gaming store Gremio de Dregones offered $2.1 million, and it’s possible the bids only went up from there.

But why Post Malone? The grainy-voiced singer actually has a well-documented history with the long-running trading card franchise. He worked with Wizards of the Coast on a special “Secret Lair x Post Malone: Backstage Pass” set of variants, has played and streamed his own tournament, and he even previously purchased an ultra-rare black-and-white artist proof of the game’s legendary Black Lotus card for $800,000. In another recent Tiktok video you can see Post Malone opening a pack of cards and talking shop with a separate fan.

“I just really hoped it would go to someone who would appreciate it as much as I do,” Trafton wrote in his video. “This is my dream come true, meeting Post Malone and him buying the One Ring card from me is literally a moment straight out of a fairytale.”

MrBeast Facing $100 Million Lawsuit After Dissing Own Burgers

James “MrBeast” Donaldson, one of the biggest YouTube stars in the world, is now being sued by Virtual Dining Concepts for $100 million. The food company behind his MrBeast Burgers alleges in the newly filed lawsuit that MrBeast is a “social media celebrity who believes his fame” means he can break contracts and say anything. In the view of VDC’s lawyers, “He is mistaken.”

In 2020, MrBeast partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts, a company that specializes in “ghost kitchen” restaurants that use other, established eateries to produce branded meals that are then sold via delivery apps like Uber Eats. In December of 2020, MrBeast Burgers launched around the country. I was tricked into ordering one. (And then the same thing happened to the wonderful and forever great Mike Fahey.) MrBeast has publicly addressed fan complaints that the burgers they ordered were “inedible” or disgusting, with some looking like raw beef slapped on a bun. So MrBeast filed a lawsuit on August 1 against VDC, claiming the company didn’t care about these quality issues and wanting to terminate the deal. Now VDC is firing back with its own lawsuit that claims he has failed to honor his contractual obligations and has negatively interfered with the business.

As first reported by Bloomberg on August 7, VDC filed a lawsuit against MrBeast in New York City that alleges the star behind many viral videos has “schemed to exploit [his] leverage and renege on [his] agreements.” VDC says this is all being done to get a “better, more lucrative deal.”

The MrBeast Burgers lawsuit features a lot of tweets

In the lawsuit, VDC says that when it didn’t agree to new terms with MrBeast he began to disparage both the food company and MrBeast Burgers—a joint brand owned by the YouTuber and VDC-via a series of tweets, some of which he has since deleted.

“If I had the ability to close it, I would have done so a long time ago sadly. Sometimes when ur young you sign shit deal [sic],” reads one of MrBeast’s tweets, as seen in the lawsuit.

VDC calls the negative tweets and MrBeast’s complaints about quality control “baseless” and “unlawful,” citing a non-disparagement clause that was included in the contract between the YouTuber and the food company. The company also claims in the lawsuit that the deal was set to expire in 2024, but MrBeast extended it “indefinitely” in 2022.

VDC argues in the suit that as a result of these negative tweets—and MrBeast’s team taking over MrBeast Burgers’ social media accounts to block promotions—the company’s reputation has been damaged and that it also lost vendors, suppliers, and customers. VDC alleges the total amount of monetary damage it has faced is “in the nine-figure range.”

A screenshot of the lawsuit shows a negative candy review.

Screenshot: Kotaku

As for the complaints about burger quality, in a comical section of the lawsuit, VDC suggests that complaints were within the normal expected amount for a venture this large. It then includes a screenshot of a negative review of MrBeast’s “Feastables” candy brand.

Kotaku contacted MrBeast’s representatives but received no comment. VDC sent this statement to Kotaku:

VDC looks forward to holding Mr. Donaldson and BI accountable for their actions. In the meantime, it is business as usual for MrBeast Burger and VDC to the greatest extent possible, and VDC looks forward to serving many more satisfied customers and continuing to help the restaurant industry.

Trump Lawyer Sports Gamer Laptop At $250 Million Fraud Trial

Today is the first day of former president Donald Trump’s $250 million fraud trial in New York. A case brought by the state’s attorney general accuses the Republican primary frontrunner of lying about his net worth by billions of dollars to try to secure more favorable loan terms. One of his attorneys, Alina Habba, showed up with what appears to be an Asus ROG gaming laptop. Its RGB logo changed colors during the hearing.

Update 10/5/2023 11:54 a.m. ET: Habba did not respond to a request for comment but did tweet about this story three days after it was published to clarify that the laptop actually belonged to the court and was used for the live transcript feed. She just happened to be the person seated in front of it.

“When the world thinks you’re a gamer because the court’s live transcript feed computer is placed in front of you #fakenews #notagamer,” she tweeted.

Original story follows.

The laptop was spotted by Ryan Rigney, marketing director for the recently released anime sports game, Omega Strikers. “Gamer lawyer brought the 2070ti asus laptop with the blue underglow to the court hearing,” he tweeted. Various pictures taken at different times during the hearing appear to show the Asus ROG emblem on the front of the laptop, as well as the underglow, cycling from blue to orange.

The laptop in question looks like it could be the ROG Strix G17 G712 model. Originally released in 2021, it sports a 17-inch screen, an RTX 2070 Super GPU, 2.3 GHz Intel i7, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and of course, an RGB keyboard and light bar with Asus’ Aura Sync. It currently sells for about $1,700.

Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the exact model of the laptop was, how often she games on it, or if Trump has ever watched her play on it.

During today’s court poceedings, Habba, who is also a senior advisor for Trump’s Super Pac, MAGA Inc., told the judge in the case that, “There was no intent to defraud, period, the end.” The ex-president, who was also indicted in August on four criminal counts related to alleged attempts to overthrow the government, tried to delay the current fraud case and get it thrown out but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Habba didn’t get her law degree until 2010, and didn’t meet Trump for the first time until 2019. She was previously accused of racist behavior in a 2022 lawsuit by a former employee at her law firm, including saying “I hate that Black b*tch” about New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the current fraud case against Trump. There were also allegedly recordings of her loudly “dropping ‘N’ bombs” while rapping along to music in her New Jersey law office. The lawsuit was settled out of court later that year.


CDPR Spent $120 Million On Saving Cyberpunk 2077’s Reputation

Cyberpunk 2077’s highly acclaimed and massive expansion, Phantom Liberty, almost feels like its own game. That’s probably because the developers behind the expansion spent over $60 million on developing Phantom Liberty and $21 million on marketing it, bringing the total cost of producing the DLC to about half of what it cost to develop the entire Cyberpunk 2077 base game.

After launching in a pretty awful state in 2020, CDProjeckt Red’s massive open-world RPG Cyberpunk 2077 has received numerous updates, bug fixes, and even a popular Netflix anime. All of this helped the futuristic RPG become more popular than ever. And while some say the game’s core problems can’t be fixed, CDPR hasn’t given up on Cyberpunk 2077. The RPG’s only planned DLC, Phantom Liberty (and the free 2.0 update) released on September 26 to rave reviews, and fans declaring the game “saved.” But building something like Phantom Liberty isn’t cheap.

On October 5, during an investor’s presentation, CDPR revealed the total budget for Phantom Liberty. Its costs were split between zł275 million on “direct production expenditures” and another zł95 million on “marketing campaign costs.” If we do some converting, that equals out to just about $63 million and $21 million in USD, respectively, or roughly $84 million total.

Buy Cyberpunk 2077: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

CD Projekt Red

As a point of comparison, it reportedly cost $174 million to develop Cyberpunk 2077. That number gets ever larger when you factor in the $142 million CDPR spent on marketing the dystopian RPG. Looking at these numbers, it’s almost impressive how little money CDPR spent on marketing the new DLC compared to the main game.

No matter how you slice it, spending nearly $85 million on developing and marketing a single expansion is wild and a sign of just how expensive game development is these days. It’s also a great example of how big, expensive games aren’t allowed to be flops.

Cyberpunk 2077 had to be a beloved hit, no matter the cost

During the presentation, the translator suggests that CDPR spent zł178 million or about $40 million USD on bringing the game to next-gen consoles and building the sweeping 2.0 update. This would suggest CDPR spent almost $125 million on fixing Cyberpunk 2077’s image and saving its reputation. However, a CDPR representative has contacted Kotaku saying that this 178 million figure in fact is mostly made up of funds spent on the base game

However, based on how well Cyberpunk 2077 and its new expansion are selling after the update—CDPR claims there was a “surge” of sales following update 2.0—the company is likely going to wind up making a lot of money off the game. CDPR pointed out during the investor presentation that it is “confident” that the DLC and its main game will be “big sellers” for a long time, pointing toward the continued sales of The Witcher 3 and its DLC years after launch.

With the development of the Cyberpunk 2077 sequel starting and news of a live-action spin-off in the works, it makes sense that CDPR would be willing to invest so much money into making sure Cyberpunk 2077’s legacy amounted to more than a failed launch and bad console ports. It needed the game to be a huge hit with millions of fans. And it got there, even if it cost a lot of money in the end.

Update 10/6/23 11:30 a.m. ET:  This article’s headline has been altered, and additional details added, in response to CDPR’s clarification over what appears to have been a translation error during its investor day presentation.


Minecraft Has Now Sold Over 300 Million Copies

A promo image for Minecraft shows creatures, monsters and humans together.

Image: Mojang / Microsoft

Announced during Minecraft Live 2023, Mojang’s massively popular survival crafting game has now sold over 300 million copies worldwide since its initial release in 2009.

Minecraft Live 2023, the official and annual Minecraft conference run by Microsoft and Mojang, was held on October 15 and featured announcements of new features, updates, crossover DLC, and more. And during the event, Mojang took a moment to remind folks that Minecraft turns 15 years old next year. After nearly 15 years, the blocky survival game has been ported to basically every platform on Earth and has seen numerous spin-offs, too. So it’s not surprising that Minecraft has sold incredibly well. But Mojang confirmed that it just recently broke a huge milestone.

According to Mojang, Minecraft has recently hit the hard-to-fathom number of 300 million copies sold. That’s a lot of bricks, blocks, and pickaxes! Based on what sales data is out there, Minecraft is far and away the best-selling game of all time.

To put that massive number into perspective, Grand Theft Auto V has only sold 185 million units since its release in 2012. Mario Kart 8, one of the best-selling Nintendo games ever, has sold 63 million across Switch and Wii. So yeah, Minecraft’s 300 million sold is an impressive amount, and unlikely to be toppled anytime soon. Well, until Minecraft hits 350 million one day.

Buy Minecraft: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Mojang / Microsoft

Beyond the news that Minecraft continues to be one of the biggest games in history, Minecraft Live 2023 included some other news about the popular block-breaking phenomenon. Here’s a quick round-up!

  • The armadillo was named the winner of this year’s Mob Vote, meaning the cute little critter will officially be added to Minecraft permanently. The winning creature beat out penguins and crabs.
  • Minecraft is getting a new Star Wars-themed DLC set during the Clone Wars. Mojang and Lucasfilm announced that players will get to customize their own lightsaber and droid in the new adventure, which is set to launch on November 7.
  • Planet Earth III DLC is also coming to Minecraft and will include new, blocky versions of some of the biomes and creatures seen in the upcoming documentary series.
  • The next major Minecraft update will hit in 2024 and is bringing a new trial chamber item that will create randomly generated dungeons for players to explore.

34 Million People Have Played The Best Assassin’s Creed Ever

10 years ago, Ubisoft launched Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, an open-world pirate-themed RPG that set the stage for the modern iteration of the long-running series by revitalizing its open-world exploration and adding remarkable naval combat. And in that time, millions of people have played the game.

Read More: Assassin’s Creed IV Is Still Great
Buy Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Ubisoft took to X (formerly Twitter, or whatever Elon Musk will change the social media’s name to in the middle of the night) on October 29 to announce that over 34 million people have played Black Flag since its 2013 launch.

That’s a staggering number of players for any game, especially one that’s a decade old. But Black Flag has aged better than most. It puts you in the boots of the Welsh pirate-turned-assassin Edward Kenway as he explores early 17th-century Caribbean seas to unravel an ancient mystery.

While its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed III, gave you a ship to command, Black Flag expanded on the vessel’s limited use, with thrilling sea battles that allowed you to dodge cannon fire and board ships to sink them in the deep blue. It also improved on some of Assassin’s Creed III’s failings, such as allowing you to freely enter and exit your ship without waiting for a loading screen, while putting less of an emphasis on the modern-day storytelling so you can just stab people to your heart’s content. This was the first game in the series to explore piracy, which Ubisoft brought back and refined in 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which featured robust ship sailing and village pillaging mechanics.

In fact, it’s the ship steering that made Black Flag so revered. As former Kotaku staffer Luke Plunkett wrote in December 2017, this Assassin’s Creed game is great because of “how beautiful it was to simply sail over a calm sea at midnight,” and he ain’t wrong. Black Flag truly blew the door wide open on our expectations of what Assassin’s Creed could be thanks, in part, to the Jackdaw. Ubisoft’s worlds are typically huge, but Black Flag’s rendition of the Caribbean felt exceptionally massive with its connected waterways only traversable by sea. And the vastness of the ocean gave the game an eerie sense of isolation and intrigue, as you never knew what lurked in the distance in front of or below you. Ubisoft’s bloated design ethos may have fallen out of fashion, but Black Flag felt like lighting in a bottle.

Lots of folks reflected fondly on Black Flag to mark the occasion, many of them sharing their memories of the game in Ubisoft’s mentions. Black Flag ranks among the best Assassin’s Creed game to this day, and it nearly made the top of Kotaku’s very own ranked list.

Read More: Sources: Assassin’s Creed Publisher Remaking Black Flag, The Pirate One

While most folks were getting misty-eyed about Black Flag, a few were hoping Ubisoft would either drop a current-gen patch for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, or just straight-up remaster the game. Kotaku reported earlier this year that a Black Flag remake is in the works, but Ubisoft still hasn’t officially confirmed it. Let’s just hope it isn’t stuck in Davy Jones’ Locker the same way the still-MIA RPG Skull and Bones has been.

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