Valve Shuts Down Dota 2 International ‘Secret Shop’ in Wake of High Shipping Costs

On Monday, PC giant Valve opened up an online marketplace for Dota 2 merchandise to tie-in with the upcoming International 2017, the tournament with the largest prize pool in the history of eSports. They even called it the Dota 2 International Secret Shop to tie in with the in-match area where players unlock items for their heroes also called the “secret shop.” It was a true Dota 2 fan service.

Only it wasn’t quite as available for everyone. Within hours, players in certain regions were reporting that WeLoveFine, the company processing the orders for the Secret Shop, was charging literally hundreds of dollars for shipping alone, even on items that cost maybe 10% of that price. One Redditor, for example, was trying to purchase a $63.47 order that added a shipping cost of $468.55.

Today, Valve announced that these complaints did not go unnoticed, shutting down the Secret Shop until further notice. Valve wrote “We apologize for the roll out of the Secret Shop, we know fans are disappointed […} “The shipping costs are too expensive all around and make it hard for cans to get the merchandise they want at an affordable price.”

Further indicating that they are not all about the bottom line, Valve wrote “Providing merchandise for Dota has never been a profit focused endeavor for us. Our goal has been to give easy access to the greatest number of Dota fans possible so they can show their affiliation with the game we all love.”

They also gave no timeline for when (of even if) the Secret Shop will reopen, writing “We’ve decided to shut down the Secret Shop for now while we figure out how to better handle global distribution. . Anyone who already placed an order will continue to receive it, or may ask for a refund.”