Escape From Tarkov’s Flea Market is Back

The five days felt long, but the Flea Market and traders are finally back in EFT. A few days ago, Battlestate Games removed the Flea Market and several other traders from Escape From Tarkov. Their disappearance, seemingly, was related to a new merchant known as the Lightkeeper. The changes were spotted on April 27, when players of EFT noticed that the in-game trader Skier had been removed suddenly. Since then, players have lost many of EFT’s trade avenues. Not stopping with Skier, the Flea Market, where players trade with other players, was also taken down. A few days later, the Traders and the Flea Market are back – players can trade Tarkov items once again.

Players Had to Pay a Ransom Fee

On April 27, the Flea Market and trades were removed entirely from Escape From Tarkov. According to the letter shared by Battlestate Games, this was in response to the “threats from the Lightkeeper.” We can presume that this Lightkeeper is an electronics-based trader who will soon take up residence in the Lighthouse.

A day after those events, things have taken an even more dramatic turn. Scav and Sicc Cases – a hideout upgrade that sends Scavs out to search for items in return for treasure/valuables – have changed to only take Roubles. Moreover, players don’t get anything back for paying their hard-earned Scavs. This change coincided with a new website that Battlestate Games launched. The website featured two numbers: the first is how much players have already “paid,” while the second is how much is “left to collect.” The site also included the same letter that Battlestate Games shared the day before, claiming the Lightkeeper was extorting traders.

Nikita Buyanov, the COO of Battlestate Games, further confirmed this when he shared a screenshot of an online chat room that confirmed that the Lightkeeper is extorting money from players. The screenshot’s last message reads, “He will get what he wants, and it will de-escalate for sure,” thereby confirming that the traders will return once players have paid the total price on the website. As for the price, players had to raise 1.5 trillion Roubles.

Things Aren’t Back to Normal.

By May 3, players managed to pay the 1.5 trillion Roubles fee in full. Thanks to that, the traders and the Flea Market returned to Escape From Tarkov. As the other traders are back, Fence has also stopped purchasing items at an increased price.

Remember that website that tracked all of the donations made by players? It’s also been updated; a new letter surfaced. The letter shows the traders thanking all of the players who managed to pool the necessary money for the ransom. It was also written that the Lightkeeper is a dangerous man, and it’s best not to get in his way. The letter was annotated with an additional message that said, “he is not happy,” suggesting that EFT players aren’t done with doing some business with the Lightkeeper just yet.

Who is the Lightkeeper?

As of now, no one truly knows his identity. Battlestate Games has been ramping up teasers regarding an update to the Lighthouse, and the studio suggested that an electronics-themed trader will soon be moving into the said Lighthouse on the map of the same name. The Lightkeeper may be added together with a more extensive update to the Lighthouse map (due to an expansion). However, there’s no word yet on when fans can expect that content to arrive.

What the Community Thought of the Event

As for what the EFT community thought about the event, some people loved it, but some hated it passionately. Discord and Reddit groups were on fire during the duration of the event, especially during the weekend when most of the players had the most time to play the game and experience it.

Some speculated that this was a pre-wipe event that tried to stabilize the economy. It could also be a test event to see if players liked these happenings in Escape From Tarkov. But since Battlestate Games didn’t release a statement about that, their motive for executing the five-day abduction of the traders and the absence of the Flea Market is unknown.

The Main Contributors

Now that the Lightkeeper’s reign was over, Battlestate Games posted an update of all the individuals who had donated the most. They filtered the contribution by faction and revealed the top names. The USEC funded 69% of the donations of the entire event, while the BEARs are behind with 31%.

There are numerous talks and gossip about an upcoming wipe, but for now, players are busy trying to revive the Tarkov market once more. Now that you can trade again, what’s the first thing you’ll do in the Flea Market? Let us know down below!