Yesterday, Valve announced an interesting promotion that would allow users of its popular Steam gaming storefront to bid on copies of games and other items with new digital currency they’d get from trading in digital items they aren’t using. Now, the promotion has hit a snag after some enterprising users of the service discovered a way to exploit flaws in the system and generate the auction’s digital currency from nothing.
Reports on Reddit’s Steam subreddit outline a number of different exploits that allow people to create the currency, known as gems, from thin air. Some users have been found with upwards of two billion gems, while others have complained of losing their gems with no explanation.
Valve said that it is currently working to rectify the issue and that the current solution is to reset the whole system back to square one. Any gems that users created through their account will be returned to them, and any purchases they made with gems will be refunded. Any bids that they made on digital auctions will be refunded as well. In addition, some users who were allegedly using the exploits have had their accounts suspended.
It’s a black eye for the Bellevue-based gaming company, but it’s likely that all will be forgiven once Valve gets the system back up and running again. If not now, then later this year when the company starts up its annual holiday sale.