In early May, PUBG Corp. suspended trading of personal items between players online, partly due to abuse but mostly to ensure they get their cut of sales on the Steam marketplace. This change made it so players ended up taking their skin trading to third party gambling sites, but a recent shutdown of one has cost the collective skin traders using the site about $1,000,000 in value.
Trading website OPSkins had long been a place for CSGO and PUBG items could be gambled and traded, where players essentially moved items into escrow to be doled out by OPSkins. The site existed before PUBG Corp. suspended trading, but the abrupt nature of that announcement meant everything that was already on the site was stuck there and couldn’t be moved back to the Steam accounts. This was in itself fine, as PUBG Corp. had said their ban was only temporary, but declined to give a timeline.
As part of Valve’s attempts to shut down CSGO gambling sites, OPSkins was shut down in early June. Valve gave users of the site a grace period to pull their CSGO skins off the site and back into their Steam accounts. Unfortunately, because of the suspension of trading in PUBG, those skins could not be traded back to the Steam accounts they originally belonged to. Essentially, items that had real world value were destroyed when the site was shut down and lost forever.
A reddit user who goes by the username IAmNotOnRedditAtWork ran down a list of exactly what was lost. By his estimation, 964,243 PUBG Skins with a total value of ~$1,018,486.58 were lost. Those items are simply gone. It seems unlikely that they can be restored or that Valve or PUBG Corp. would be interested in doing so if they could.
It’s hard for them to say they should have known better, because the trade suspension didn’t come down until later, but it is definitely a lesson in using third party sites. Whether the publishers seem okay with it or not, you can’t assume they won’t one day decide one line on their revenue graphs is crossing another and shut everything down.