Valve Suspends Holiday Auction Following Gem Exploit [UPDATE]

Auctions are back!

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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.”

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Relvar

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I don't want Counterstrike- it's a stupid shooter!

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SparklyDrew

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So you had to bi on the 11th to get the free copy of csgo


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WarFox89

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Come on Steam stop coming up with stupid new ideas like this one that no one actually needs. just make a good sell with price cut and let us buy and play our games.

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BldgIrsh

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What are you talking about! This idea is probably the money sink valve has made in history. Theoretically this even could cost 0 cents if you have collected a massive amounts of emoticons,card, backgrounds, etc. This event helps clean the market from massive amounts of these items anyways. So it's easily a win/win for everyone. Those who wish to sell their stuff and those who wish to use theirs to have a chance of getting games.

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Quandry

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The Holiday Auction is one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while. Why anyone would waste their time paying for bids to possibly buy games at higher price deserve to lose their money.

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johnlewis107

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This is such a scam, WTH Valve?

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lorider25

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i can't bid on ****!


80,000 gems!?!?. lol, I only managed to scrape a 1000

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Grenadehh

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Stop wasting time on this event and get back to working on getting more developers to release more steamworks conversions for the troves of GFWL games on PC. Like Force Unleashed series, and RE5, and many more. Or spend more time getting publishers to set up their deals for next week. I better f'ing see some specific games on sale.

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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It's funny how some people think they can scam Valve in this event. They are too stupid to realize this whole event is one big scam. People think they are getting good deals, when it reality they are actually paying more than retail for shitty games. Sad part is in less than a week those games are going to be 75% off.

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Relvar

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Don't spoil the holiday magic!

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GamerOuTLaWzz

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As always, the cheater-riddled PC community ruining it for the legit players.

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jessie82

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so no actual sale this year then?

shame i was hoping to finally get skyrim legendary edition
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traymoz

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<< LINK REMOVED >> there will be a sale for sure the week of christmas. Skyrim LE will most likely be for sale.

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It states on the auction page. Steam sale starts when it ends the 18th

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> No actually it doesn't say that. It says the games will be distributed at the end of the auction. Steam Winter sale was leaked as 18th, though. So, goodbye entire paycheck.

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Zarkhaine

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<< LINK REMOVED >> First of all, I do not understand how people have soooo many gems. I sold all the items in my inventory and ended up with 800 odd gems. Secondly, why on earth are people spending ridiculous amounts of gems on games that are under £5 to buy anyway? The bid on Skyrim is something like 40,000 gems. Wouldn't it just be easier to buy the game instead? It's like £3 in the sale. If you have that many gems, you must have bought an awful lot of games, so money shouldn't be an issue. Then, you go and waste all your gems on a 3 year old game that costs the same as a pint of beer??? WHAT THE WHAT??!?

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> IT's not even about that. Gems are entirely irrelevant to amount of games in your account. I have 633 games on Steam and I'd be lucky, if I traded in all 200+ items in my inventory, to even get 10000 gems.


People are either cheating, or they are literally spending hundreds of dollars on trade items to turn into gems.

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cratecruncher

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Everyone seems to be focused on who cheated and who can't design an auction. I think the bigger story got lost.


Why the heck is Steam even bothering with this???


The answer is frequent flyer miles. Valve are attempting to build a customer loyalty system into their Steam service that will discourage people from shopping for lower prices among their weakening competitors. I already read people commenting they want to keep their entire game library in one place (Steam). This kind of thing will further strengthen their market dominance.

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It's Valve's way of getting the Lemmings to spend more than retail price on games.

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It's always been this way. This half-baked Chinese gold-farmer event won't affect that at all.

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cratecruncher

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It looks half-baked at the moment but Valve learn quickly. Next year it may replace one of the Steam sales altogether. The digital download industry is competing on price right now. Valve wants desperately to break that cycle and kill off their competition. GOG, G2A, Humble, are all tiny compared to Steam and getting weaker.


I'm old enough to remember when Home Depot had the lowest prices in town. Ace, Payless, Furrows, Orchard, all bit the dust one by one. Now Home Depot have the ONLY price in town and it ain't low. We should be trying to promote a more competitive marketplace. I always buy GOG if I can and have been shopping G2A recently. It's important to shop around in order to maintain a competitive marketplace.


Sorry if this post is repetitive but I have trouble communicating with people on this site.

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Avatar image for grenadehh
Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Well frankly, Valve already lost the game a long time ago when it comes to price. Steam is almost always more expensive than Humble or GMG or other third parties.


GOG is usually similar to Steam and a lot of people would prefer their games in one place, like me, like you mentioned. Furthermore, I would like my achievements and community and items. Not having the DRM doesn't get you those.


Personally though, I don't buy anything on Steam anymore except during sales - mostly the big sales like the upcoming one. (Ignore that I just bought two games today - they were .50 and 2.00 so bfd)


Otherwise I buy it on Kinguin where brand new games are 20 - 30 dollars.


Yea, I'm a bad person, but I have a lot of games to buy and don't have infinite money.


PS Don't worry bud, I remember Ace, Orchard, and Furlows too. Ace is still around. Also HQ, they bit the dust. Now you Home Depot or you screw off basically. But again, Steam has always been that way. They've never had real competition because Valve's DRM has been so genetically integrated with the gaming industry for PC that it's irrelevant.


If you're a PC gamer, either you use Steam, or you don't game. Those are your choices. Crappy other programs like Desura, Origin, uPlay - they will do nothing to change it.

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Jebril

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Lowes and Wal-Mart compete with Home Depot still. Ace definitely still exists also, I think you're exaggerating what's going on.

Unless Valve has a real monopoly they won't be able to charge whatever they want.

You also have to consider the fact that Valve ALLOWS people to buy games from sites like Greenman Gaming, Humble Bundle, Amazon etc. and allow the games to be activated on Steam. So no they don't control the price of digital games right now, if anything you should be happy Valve was the one who set the trend of "cheap" digital games. If it was up to companies like M$, Sony, EA, and Ubisoft we'd still be paying full price for games a year old.

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cratecruncher

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Lowe's and HD coordinate pricing so closely they may as well be one company. When one raises a price the other matches it instantly. Checked individual sku's lately?


Code activation is great except that it also encourages everyone to maintain one account. How hard would it be for Valve to change that policy btw?


I don't mean to beat a dead horse. Steam is great, for now. I'm just sayin'. Valve is taking this goofy little gem auction very seriously.

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Grenadehh

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Meh I'm not participating in this. There are too many lifeless dbags on Steam who are betting 90,000 gems on games I can just buy for a dollar. Even with all my inventory I'd only have like 20,000 gems. And thats with hundreds of items,

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You're better off selling your items for real money.

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Exactly. I tried to sell some rare foil badges but no one is having it I guess.

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jaoman9

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congrats on giving everyone a game they already owned.

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BboyMrMaestro

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Man, this probably looked GREAT on paper.

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Saidrex

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I'll wait until last day and unload to market everything. Prices on trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons will be enormous :D

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DAOWAce

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The bids on some of these games are absolutely insane. I can only assume some people are trolling or just want to have the 'top bidder' spotlight.


The only thing of real worth seems to be the holiday profile, which if I'm reading this right, expires in a year. And since you can buy gems with money.. this makes everything have some monetary value. If I have to guess, it's worth a few hundred dollars, if not thousands.


So, count me out; I won't be getting anything from this.. except maybe some money from selling trading cards.

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velimirius

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Not worth really, unless you hack/cheat... i can turn some of my more worthy stuff to gems and get like 2k and what im gonna do with them? nothing. Well i'll rather keep my stuff.

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velimirius

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Not worth at all, unless you hack/cheat ofc lol

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UltimateBastard

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I don't really get the whole trading card thing with steam. They say it suppose to reward dedication but there are game I've played a couple of hundred hours of and only have a few cards whilst other games I've barely plaid and having tons for. Also how do you get gems for these cards?

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deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I believe the developers set the reward rate, but the only reason Steam is pushing this is because people pay for them in the trading market and Valve gets a commission. I guess the volume's dipped so they want to gouge a little more.

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deactivated-5962a4d2614f8

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It's based off other people building decks, but the thing is people just auction all their cards, making the whole system useless.

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Gelugon_baat

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

It's just luck. :\

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postalsam

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People are still cheating on it, I gave up

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Too-DementeD

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This is one of, if not the worst, steam event held imo. The gem prices on bidding are so high that you may as well just purchase the game... and that's for every game up for auction.

Since this is just the first auction and it has the biggest time-frame, I'm sure that's why the prices are so high, but when the "45 minute auctions" begin on 15th of December, I'm hoping it'll be better (as in, people would actually stand a chance at winning without emptying their entire inventory).

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Exactly.


But this is how all digital currency works. Remember WoW, FF11, or any mmo?


People inflate the bejesus out of prices, it's pointless.I'll use my real money, tyvm Valve. All of these games will be 2 dollars on Wed. anyway, for the rest of the year.

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olegavi323

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Do you know what I hate about Steam? Everything is so user unfriendly. I have around 50 cards that I want to turn into gems, and guess what?! I need to click and convert each card individually.

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johnlewis107

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I have like 300, forget that :p Still not enough to get anything

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Grenadehh

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Not really. It's hardly user unfriendly, but could definitely use some tweaking.

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FCT-Steve-O

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Cards aren't worth converting into gems. You get 100 gems for a CSGO background or emoticon but like 10 gems for a card.

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