The Steam Market Just Went Through A Short, Crazy Meltdown

The Steam Market Just Went Through A Short, Crazy Meltdown

Last night, the Steam Community Market suddenly started valuing items at exactly the same rate in Indonesian rupiahs and US dollars, meaning that an item that cost $US1 also cost a single Rupiah. Normally, it's worth 13,000 rupiahs. Ruh roh.

The glitch led prices to skyrocket, or plummet, depending on which side of the international currency conversion rate one was on. Prices of items that cost a few bucks in the US fell so sharply for Indonesian buyers that they were all but free. Non-Indonesian buyers, meanwhile, were faced with massive price hikes — as PC Gamer pointed out, "something being sold in the Indonesian currency for 3.9 million Rupiahs (roughly $US300) would be showing as a direct 1:1 conversion of $US3.9 million."

Valve eventually disabled the market entirely after reports of currency meltdown began to pop up on Reddit. Come late morning, the company released a brief statement on the whole kerfuffle, while simultaneously reopening the market (emphasis added):

Early this morning, a problem with our currency exchange rate data allowed users who use Indonesian Rupiahs in their Steam wallet to make purchases on the Community Market at heavily discounted prices. We have reverted as many of these purchases as possible. Steam Trading and the Community Market were both disabled while this rollback process was occurring, but are now enabled once again.

A relatively small set of users have one or more transactions where the item was restored back to the seller, but the wallet funds have not yet been returned to the buyer. We are still working to resolve this issue and appreciate your patience while we sort everything out.

Users using codes to add Indonesian Rupiahs to their Steam Wallets may have noticed that the wrong amount was added. These credits will be fixed later today.

Crisis averted, it seems. Or, at least, a long-term crisis. Flash market crises like this are always scary regardless of how quickly they're repaired, though. The speed at which all-digital economies can be adjusted by a proprietor like Valve is equal only to the rate at which a malignant or malicious force can destabilise it.


Comments

    I'm sure if anyone in Indonesia bought games instead of pirated then it would be a real problem.

      Do you know why they pirate? because the prices are ridiculous compared to local wages. Let me give you a very quick example. 13k rupiah? that's enough for a an average meal at a shopping center food court, or 3 meals if you eat at street side stalls. You expect people to pay 500k for a single game when that's equivalent to at least 40 meals?

        I disagree. Most of the people that buy the pirated versions of games and movies tend to be relatively affluent, and could probably afford the legit version. Particularly PC games - the hardware needed to play newer games is pretty damn expensive, even in Indonesia (actually, prices for PC hardware aren't cheaper than anywhere else).

        In Australia, a home cooked meal costs, what, $4-$5 per person? A new-release AAA title might set you back $100 - that's 25 meals. You expect people to pay $100 for a new game when thats equivalent to 20-25 meals? Yes, yes you do.

        Source: I lived in Jakarta for 15 years.

    Racist!

      whats the matter not allowed to call things by their name anymore?
      Indonesians are Indonesians, English are English and Japanese are Japanese

      calling racist is going too far these days

    Of course, this would be relevant to us if Steam showed converted prices...

    I have a video from whenever this was happening! Have a look at it here: http://bit.ly/1dBTdry - I use a link shortening website to that my links are not as long, i can see how many people have clicked on them and when they click on them.

    I am posting this purely to give people more information on the matter.

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