Valve Temporarily Shuts Down Steam Holiday Auction

The Steam Holiday Auction page currently reports that Valve Software is facing issues with Gems and has temporarily shut down auctions. The company didn't say when the auctions will resume, but instead it claimed that elves are banging out the issues. Santa did not provide a comment.

Valve Software introduced the Steam Holiday Auction on Thursday night. Steam gamers can turn unused inventory items such as trading cards and backgrounds into a virtual currency called "Steam Gems." These Gems can be used to bid on nearly 2,000 game codes (100 copies of each).

According to an FAQ, the first auction ends on Monday, December 15. There will be a new auction every 45 minutes until Thursday, December 18 at 10am PST. At the end of each round, the top bidder will be awarded one of each title. Participants can keep track of their bids in the My Bids section of their account.

"Select a game from the Auctions list and enter your bid. Gems are removed from your Inventory when they are used to bid and will be returned to your Inventory if the bid is canceled," read the FAQ.

Shortly after Valve opened the bidding gates on Thursday evening, reports began to surface that some players have found a way to duplicate their Gems. This not only gives them an advantage when bidding on a game, but it provides extra cash in the secondhand Gems market.

"Sorry, but there have been some issues with Gems and the Steam Holiday Auction has been temporarily closed," Valve stated. Additional reports claim that Valve removed Gems from every participant's inventory and then placed the Gems back into the accounts of gamers who acquired them legitimately.

Valve's FAQ reports that once the auctions have ended, participants can use their unused Gems to create Booster Packs. However, due to Valve's silence on the matter, there's no indication that the Auctions will move forward as planned. Will the first auction still end on Monday, or will the company revise the schedule accordingly?

The duping incident is unfortunate, as it ruins the experience for gamers who have legitimately converted their items or have spent real money on Gems. Those involved with the duping are likely feeling the swift swing of Valve's banhammer right about now.

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  • bak0n
    People were obviously duping gems from the start. A single card is typically 10 gems, the highest I saw was 100. People were bidding in the millions of gems for a single game. That tells you right there they were duping.
  • clutchc
    The low lifes always spoil it for the rest.
  • Lmah
    I saw some people bidding 100k+ gems yesterday, I knew some type of dupe was going on.
  • Bondfc11
    What is funny too people were transferring cards that could sell combined for more than the game they were bidding on. Why convert $30-$40 worth of cards (potentially) for a $20 game? Pretty silly.
  • alidan
    top bid was 1,340,000 gems,

    i looked at my cards and saw 10 gems each, a few were 220-400 but mostly 6-20 and decided that the auction was stupid as hell and not worth my time.
  • dstarr3
    Even redeeming that many cards should have taken more time than it took for someone to make some of the huge bids I saw.
  • Darkk
    Duping exploits are nothing new. I've seen this happen years ago in Asheron's Call where it's a common problem when they roll out a new monthly patch. Players always found a way to cheat and dupe items very early which ruins it for everybody else. They would roll the servers back to it's previous pre-patched state losing the quest items for the day. So in a nutshell we all lose.
  • giovanni86
    Screw the auction, bring on the Winter Sale :)
  • peteira
    Normal user will never win in this auction....
  • elcentral
    well i like the idea but i rather pay 15-20 euro and play a 4 month old game for 1 day then spend a hole day on bidding on a game i can simply buy, steam is dirt cheap vs console so i will not bother my time. time is money friends !