Team Fortress 2 has become quite the venerable Valve shooter. The long-running competitive FPS has grown over the years with a vibrant community of players across the globe. The game has held onto its supporters for so long by not only having engaging gameplay with a huge array of of maps and modes, but also a robust market of in-game cosmetics that gamers often obsess over.
For years players have built a stable secondary market based on trading and selling of these cosmetic items. Not only do people get to sell the in-game items like hats and clothes for real cash, they often trade the most valuable of these from Team Fortress 2 for items in other games entirely.
The rarest of these items, referred to as Unusuals, are the most prized, and thus carry the highest value. But now, a sudden influx of Unusual hats and cosmetics has caused prices to tank, and this has severely destabilized for many other items and games. The source of this sudden deluge of stuff is actually not intended at all, as a glitch in the system that managed the loot drops that generated these cosmetics caused the problem. Over the course of the glitch being active, the system handed out way too many Unusual items.
Valve stepped in quickly and fixed the issue, but the sheer volume of rare drops had predictable consequences. The prices across the board dropped as traders and collectors began to liquidate their stocks, out of a feeling known as “panic selling”, where wide-scale selling of an investment, caused a sharp decline in price.
The issue has been so widespread that Valve has put in place a temporary halt on trading items like Unusuals that were impacted by the glitch. It’s unclear if this backstop will stabilize prices, but it will no doubt take some time before they begin to rebound if they do at all. For now, Valve has not shared what it plans to do with the impacted unboxed Unusual items.