Stocks are weird. It’s basically a legal form of gambling. You see them skyrocket up for no reason other than people think they know what’s going on, and you see them plummet because a CEO was caught having an affair. Shares of stock are given a value based on what someone else will pay for it. When Bluehole introduced the Gamescom Invitational Crates as a way to fund their prize pool for the Gamescom PUBG Invitational, they ended up making something very close to a stock.
The Gamescom Invitational Crates for PUBG were offered for a very limited time, and each player could only buy 7 per week (if they had enough in store credits, which led to swaths of AFK farming bots but that’s a story for another time). These crates ended up containing some really cool cosmetics to wear while trying to be the last player standing in a game of PUBG, but they didn’t actually enhance your game. That being said, people are willing to pay for these cosmetics. They’re willing to pay a lot. After the first week, the crates themselves were eligible to be sold on the Steam Marketplace. They hovered around 2 dollars per crate for awhile, with people clamoring to open them for the chance at the school skirt item that other players were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for. As time went on, and the opportunity was lost to get these crates in game anymore, a new dynamic was introduced into equation: scarcity. There was now a finite number of crates, and every time one was opened, that number went down. The number of Gamescom Crates for sale on the market quickly skyrocketed to over 100k units, then slowly but steadily fell. As the supply fell, the price rose, and quite quickly.
This is a free crate we’re talking about, if you got it in game, and people are paying money to get this crate, and pay even more money to try and open it for the chance at that sweet, sweet school skirt. And the question that you’re probably here for is: How much are these crates ACTUALLY worth. And the answer? Well it depends.
Each item in the crate is assigned a rarity – the color in the corner of the icon. Based on the crowd-sourced data pulled by reddit user KAVS from 122 crates (which is an awful small sample size for something like this – to be fair), we can see the estimation for the chances to draw an item from each color subset (for the purposes of this research, I’ve given the same chance for pink, to the red item – the school skirt).
The calculation I did is to determine the weighted value of the crate itself. I did this by pulling the current selling price of each potential item in the Gamescom crate, calculating an average value of each category (green, blue, purple, pink, and red), then using the likelihood of finding that item in the crate, giving a weighted value for that category. I then summed the weighted values to determine the value of the crate itself. This does not take into account winning the bonus crates, as I have not found any instance of anyone actually winning that besides what I see on the Steam marketplace.
Based on the calculations above, the estimated value of a Gamescom Invitational Crate is roughly $13.19 as of this writing. However, as previously stated, this is largely based on data pulled on a very small sample size, estimates the chances of the school skirt are the same as the two pink items, and – most importantly – is dependent on how much players will pay for the items in said crate. If the selling price of the items in the crate goes up as a whole, so does the weighted value of the crate. If the price goes down, so does the crate’s value. Like a stock, the Crate could explode in value, or crater. It’s all very weird.