PUBG disables personal item trades to thwart third-party resellers

Personal item trading in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has been temporarily turned off according to a news post developers PUBG Corporation released through Steam today.

To clarify, personal item trades are when you give another player an item in your inventory for free. It's one of two methods of trading available on Steam, the other being selling those items through the Steam Marketplace.

The PUBG Corporation didn't say much on why this decision was made, only that it has "seen a few cases of players using the personal trade function to sell items using third party sites." PUBG Corporation has deemed this a violation of their system, and is turning off personal trades while it searches for "a better solution."

While personal item trades are intended to be a simple way of, say, giving a friend an item you don't want, the system has been used to handle the sale of in-game items on Steam in exchange for real money. This, of course, is no surprise to those who have been following the controversy surrounding third-party item selling in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

For years, CS:GO players have been selling their skins on third-party websites in exchange for money. This grey market was placed under a spotlight two years ago thanks to the rise of gambling websites that let players risk their weapon skins in games of chance. In response, Valve began cracking down on gambling websites for being in violation of its Steam Subscriber Agreement, stating that their "commercial use of Steam accounts is unlicensed and in violation of the SSA."

Nearly a month ago, Valve announced stricter rules regarding personal item trading in CS:GO. Now, players have to wait seven days before they can trade an item, which Valve hopes will curb scammers and fraud.

It's been an ongoing problem on Steam's virtual item economy, one that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is struggling with too. The PUBG Corporation said that "once we figure out a way to prevent abuse, the restriction will be lifted." But didn't specify a window for when that may be. It's an understandable move, however. Since PUBG first implemented tradeable items, players have worked tirelessly to find ways to exploit the game.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.