Steam broke earlier today: As first noticed on Reddit, users attempting to purchase anything through the storefront were running face-first into an error message telling them that the transaction could not be completed.
Valve acknowledged on Twitter that something had gone wrong:
We’re currently experiencing unexpected downtime for purchases on Steam. We’re working on a fix and will let you know when you can start buying games again! Sorry for the inconvenience.March 10, 2020
When I first tested the problem myself, I ran into exactly the same issue: After selecting the game, choosing a payment method, and entering billing information, the transaction failed. "There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction," read the error. "Please wait a minute and try again or contact support for assistance."
As of now, purchases appear to be working again. There's no official confirmation from Valve yet, but I've been able to successfully buy a couple of games, as have some of my fellow PC Gamers. It's not officially all-clear, but it seems to be getting there.
While the Steam store occasionally struggles to load—especially at the start of a sale—it's pretty unusual for purchasing to stop working entirely. Valve doesn't often say anything about hiccups, either. The Steam Support Twitter account has been dormant since 2017, and the main Steam account mainly posts deals. It's just a bit novel, really.
I've reached out to Valve for more information on the problem. In the meantime, we'll keep an eye on it, and keep you posted if anything else unusual happens.