Valve Suspends Holiday Auction Following Gem Exploit [UPDATE]

Auctions are back!

No Caption Provided

Update: Valve has restored Steam's Holiday Auction event and posted the following note:

"On Thursday Dec 11th we had an issue with Gems that meant we needed to reset the Auction and start over. We apologize for the interruption. Any placed bids will need to be placed again.

  • All Gems created by you have been returned to your Inventory
  • All Gem purchases from the Community Market have been reimbursed. View your Store Transactions to see the Wallet Credit to your account.
  • All previous Auction bids have been canceled and the Auction has been reset.
  • Additionally, anyone who traded away items in exchange for Steam Gems on the first day of bidding will receive a copy of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in their Inventory."

The Auction will run from December 15 7:45 a.m. to December 18 10:00 a.m., when Valve confirmed the Steam Holiday Sale will start.

The original story appears below.

Valve has closed its Holiday Auction just hours after the promotion went live, after it quickly emerged that some users were exploiting the system.

Some 100 copies of two thousand Steam games were due to go up for auction from December 15, meaning there were 200,000 games ready to bid on. What made this promotion unique is that users wouldn’t need to bid with money, but instead Steam Gems, which can be acquired by deleting various sundry items such as trading cards and badges.

Those who play games on Steam will have noticed they accrue such items just by buying and playing games, meaning that how many gems each person owns is supposed to reflect their dedication.

However, hours after the auction went live, some users discovered a way of exploiting the system via trading, while other users appear to have found ways to duplicate their own gem currency. One user, for example, was discovered on Reddit to have obtained 1.9 billion gems, which is theoretically enough to win every auction.

Valve has elected to delete that person’s gem inventory, and due to the exploitable nature of the promotion, has suspended it.

“Sorry, but there have been some issues with Gems and the Steam Holiday Auction has been temporarily closed,” the company wrote on its auction website.

"The elves are working frantically to get the issues sorted out, and the auction will start again as soon as they're done.”

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 101 comments about this story