A Fallout 3 weekend sale on Steam has caused a kerfuffle, as Steam keys ran out and many people who bought the game can't actually play it.
QuakeCon went down this past weekend, as you may have heard, and as part of the "Woo it's a party!" festivities, Bethesda put the Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition - the one with all the DLC - on sale on Steam for a measly $5. That's a heck of a deal, but something, somewhere seems to have gone wrong: Steam ran out of keys for the game but kept on selling it, meaning that an awful lot of people who bought it can't actually play it.
"We have recently ran out of CD keys for this product," a notice on the Fallout 3 GOTY Steam page warns. "As soon as we receive more from the publisher a key will be granted to new owners."
But there's nothing preventing you from actually purchasing the game, even though you won't be able to play it if you do. A handful of people have reported the issue on the Steam forums but the actual number of affected users is unknown, as is a time-frame for getting keys into the hands of people who didn't get one. It appears on the surface to be a Steam problem but the general consensus is that Bethesda is at fault for not supplying sufficient keys to cover the weekend demand; whatever the case, it's an odd and awkward situation, and one that doesn't shine an entirely flattering light on anyone.
UPDATE: The Steam key truck has pulled into the dock, and Fallout 3 is now back on the shelves.