Update: RPS reports that the $38,000 USD flaming pink puppy has lost almost 90% of its value to $4000

Seen the DK v Alliance matches? Or the Korean Dota 2 Cosplayers?

We had previously covered PAADA’s $38,000 (USD) sale of his legacy pink puppy (ethereal flames wardog) to a possibly China based buyer here on this site. PAADA was also previously also on the Top 7 Game items not once but twice. This time, the $38000 game item made it to Forbes (thanks T/O): http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnyegriffiths/2013/11/14/dota-2-three-spirits-update-38000-dollar-loot-auction/



Daniel Nye Griffiths Daniel Nye Griffiths, ContributorI write about the intersection of entertainment, tech & business.

11/14/2013 @ 12:05PM |5,300 views

Was A $38,000 Piece Of Dota 2 Loot Just Patched To Worthlessness?

When it comes to digital goods, the words “caveat emptor” should probably be printed on the bottom of every receipt. So it may be for the Dota 2 player who paid $38,000 in a transaction negotiated on Reddit in a sale posted by the collector “PAADA”  for a rare Ethereal Flame pink war dog.

Which creates an interesting situation, as today an update to Dota2 – the “Three Spirits” update – has turned color and “ ethereal effect” from inherent qualities of unusual items in the game(such as couriers) to qualities that can be conferred by gems. The economists of the message boards are still working out what this might mean for the buyer of the $38,000 dog, and whether they have bought a metaphorical as well as a virtual dog.

The best case scenario is probably that instead of having an incredibly rare courier, the buyer will have a courier with an incredibly rare pink gem, which could theoretically be broken out of the courier and added to a yet more rare item, creating another item of high value. The worst case is that a pink prismatic gem is introduced, making the very rare gem possessed by the buyer a very rare prismatic gem with an aesthetic effect indistinguishable from far less rare gems.

For Valve, this is probably an instance of flattening out an overheated unofficial market (hyperrare confluences of creature, color and graphical flair) by introducing two less heated official markets (prismatic and particle effect gems). Clearly, the timing of the update is unconnected to a specific purchase. Forbes.com has reached out to Valve for comment.

This is the purchasing world of the free-to-play whale, where value is calculated in terms of peer approval, status and self-worth as much as what we might laughingly call the rational agents of the market, such as use value and appreciation.

Ironically, this story about animal spirits is very much about the Animal Spirits.

However, anyone mocking the buyer who trades in their car for a new model every year should probably take a hard look at the money they are throwing away in the interests of status.

Follow me on Twitter, or check my Forbes blog (ultra-rare, magenta, sparkly) here.

The current patch for Dota 2 is definitely something that is big, with the socketing and crafting changing the entire market economy of Dota 2. In anticipating this Valve has actually frozen the Steam Market for this game and occasion.

Dota 2 is temporarily unavailable in the Community Market. All Dota listings excluding Treasure Chests and Keys have been returned to the owners’ inventories. All other games are unaffected. You can continue to buy and sell items from other games like normal. Dota 2 will become available on the Community Market after we verify that all items are functioning and displaying as expected. Go to the patch notes for more information about the Dota update and the reason for the temporary removal of Dota from the Community Market.


Sort of reminds one of the trading in real stock markets, where there are trading halts on big news (or in the case of HFT algo flash crashes) as well as trading stops, suspensions, temporary closures etc.

Animal spirits is also another thing often seen, and wryly remarked upon at zerohedge.