A little over a week ago on July 25, the Team Fortress 2 community was hit by a crate bug significantly affecting its economy on Steam. Players can purchase keys either in-game or on the Steam Community Market and unlock crates which can have rare items worth money. A recent update bugged the drop rate of the rare item quality unusual in Team Fortress 2. It went from a low chance under 1 percent to a 100 percent chance.
Valve provided an update earlier on what they're considering, "The Crate Depression of 2019." Originally, Valve prevented all unusual rarity items from the bugged crates from being traded on the Steam Community Market. The latest solution is different depending on how they were affected during the incident.
- If you unlocked a bugged crate and got an unusual hat, the first unusual hat you unlocked is tradable.
- If you unlocked multiple bugged crates, any unusual hats after the first one will be permanently trade-locked on your account. This means they won't be tradable to other players and sellable on the Steam Community Market.
- If you deleted your unusual hats from bugged crates, Valve is returning them to your inventory with the same rules applied to the above.
That isn't the end of this situation altogether, however. Valve offered another option for people that might not want several trade-locked unusual hats sitting in their inventory. If you would prefer to refund the full price paid for any hats, crates, or keys bought on the Steam Community Market, they're working on a refund system.
"Item tradability, restoration, and the refund support page will be made available in about a week's time," says the Team Fortress 2 team via their blog. "Refunds will be the full price paid for any hats, crates or keys bought on the Steam Community Market or Mann Co. store. We will post an update when that exact date becomes available."
The blog post continued on about how only a small number of accounts acquired the hats through the bugged crates. It's unknown how small the size of the community who took advantage of the temporary exploit. Valve is stating an even smaller portion of those accounts acquired a large amount of the unusual items. Despite the Team Fortress 2 community not knowing what caused the issue, it was supposedly fixed the following day after it occurred.
The development team addressed the community stating they added protective measures to prevent this from happening again, "We apologize for the inconvenience of this incident, and we’ve added safeguards to prevent incidents like this in the future."
What do you think of Valve's solution for The Crate Depression of 2019? Would you have done something differently?