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Blizzard adopts PayPal for Diablo III

Online payments service will allow users to trade items for real world money

Blizzard Entertainment has chosen to work with payments service PayPal for its upcoming MMO Diablo III.

"Gamers want to focus on gaming and prefer an in-game payments solution that's convenient, easy and secure," said Carey Kolaja, senior director of emerging opportunities at PayPal.

"Last month we told you that our research has shown thatover 70 per cent of gamers are PayPal users, and we believe that's because we understand that central principle."

PayPal will also become a payment option on Battle.net accounts.

It was last month that Blizzard announced it would allow players to use real currency in the online RPG, so that real currency can be used to buy and sell weapons, armour and other in game items at virtual auction houses.

"PayPal's solution for digital goodswill help enrich this experience by providing Blizzard's audience in several regions of the world with another easy, convenient and safe way for making these purchases."

Gold based auction houses will still be available for those who do not want to spend real money.

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Latest comments (19)

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
I get it, trade is one of the things people do the most, so imposing some sort of tax on it makes the most financial sense, if Activision-Blizzard wants to raise income without imposing a monthly fee, or creating any DLC to sell. It is more money for the developer in exchange for doing absolutely nothing.

Still I am a bit worried, the trade will be inhibited when too many players start thinking they have to try and make real money off each lowly item. Not to speak of western players wasting their time to compete with Chinese wage slaves working for $1 per hour. With them flooding the market no doubt, nothing a regular player finds, will ever have any value. Even playing 40h week will probably put you only on the same salary as some poor sob in an Asian grindhouse. Final nail in the coffin is tax law. Selling even one item with the intent to earn 1 will mean you have to declare it in your tax statement, apply VAT, etc, etc (at least according to German law). 14 year olds having to do their taxes, or being busted by the IRS will be the more ridiculous things to come out of D3.

This game is certainly the one to watch to get some soul-crushing truths about how people behave in an economy.



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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College7 years ago
"14 year olds having to do their taxes, or being busted by the IRS will be the more ridiculous things to come out of D3."

Hehe, I hadn't thought of that. This system also paves the way for in-game gambling, which is a bit questionable.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
Gambling? I see D3 having more applications as a system to launder money.
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Show all comments (19)
Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College7 years ago
I was thinking more along the lines of "I beat you in a duel, you buy my health potion for 50" kind of thing - yours is far more devious :)
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Adam Hay Senior software engineer, MadAddicts7 years ago
Lol ! The are guaranteeing I don't spend money on diablo 3. Don't want to pay for a single player game and then pAy to use some funky ah.
Freemium is good will pay there and sometimes pay more then a real game but blizzard is asking too much in game transactions to buy items is pay to be awesome. No skill no fun. No want to race to end with friends. No point!

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David Spender Lead Programmer 7 years ago
/facepalm oh the bad experiences I've had with Paypal, please no.
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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College7 years ago
More like Diablo Mafia Family

Capiche
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Wayne Gibson UK Marketing Manager for GameKrib.com 7 years ago
Why dont that just make Diablo 3 into a freemium mmo and be done with it as it pretty much seems to be turning into one. Always online to play and in game auction houses sound very much the mmo to me. What do you all think?
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Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios7 years ago
Until Paypal is under regulation like any other financial institution it's a really bad idea. Paypal is owned by ebay, that should be warning enough :-)
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 7 years ago
Ditto the anti-paypal comments. They're completely inflexible, have their own arcane rules that no one on the outside can quite see until it's too late and they're applying them to you..... only several lots of other people got/get away without those rules being applied to them!


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Eddie In Project Manager, Ndoors7 years ago
@Klaus - The scenario you are describing will be quite short term. For the first few months before the auction house prices stabilize there will be training swords put up there for hundreds of dollars just to see if someone would buy. But no one will and the prices will go down.

@Adam - A huge influx of gamers whose activities will flood the auction house for goods will drop the prices for everything but the rarest of items. There is a minority of players who are going to purchase the +10 Sword of Bloody Awesomeness for $10,000. But I sincerely doubt this handful of high rollers will ruin the ecosystem for the rest of the users.

I'm really interested in seeing how government will react to this. Not very well if the past is any indication. However, a major gaming publisher in the West making virtual goods trading an official part of their business will shed a lot of light in the grey area of virtual assets. Yes we'll hear about taxation but we'll also have some great discussions on ownership, buyer protection and regulation. Oh hurray! Good times
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Dennis Wan Game Designer, Nanyang Polytechnic7 years ago
I concur with Eddie's assessment; however, I am more interested in how the economic ecosystem of D3 will turn out a few years into the game. Will it really cause such a major impact that the involved governments will have to/want to step in to impose regulations? A change that demands political attention toward games... well, any publicity is good publicity!
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
@Eddi
With Blizzard allowing RMTs to provide their service, the economy cannot stabilize. This is due to the fact of the RMTs having but one instrument to provide their service, which is to cause inflation. An economy based on something every participant can produce in infinite amounts will not hold.

This is true for D2 also and can be observed there as well. Far too much gold was produced by far too many people and ultimately gold got replaced by some other item in the game which then took on the role of currency. At least until that was way too inflated as well. Across many MMOs, this same trend can be observed.

Once RMTs are in place, a typical player will probably be able to buy for $5 more gold than he will ever need for his enjoyment of the game. Which is the point where one should really question what good gold is for the gameplay. Blizzard may have made 50c more from the customer and washed their hands clean from being accused of selling cheats, but you do not what to know how work conditions in China were.

@Dennis
If items were bought with real money, people will certainly feel more entitlement of ownership and demand better protection of their valuables against hackers and accidental loss.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Torchlight II, people. A steal at $20, no always online crap, no annoying DRM for single player, a ton of new features and mods can be made. I'll only go near DIII once it has an offline SP mode so I can enjoy the story at my own pace. I don't want to play with greedy speculators, would-be entrepreneurs or the usual online jerks who get way with pissing people off with their juvenile antics just because they're faceless and nameless to other players...
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 7 years ago
@Greg - don't forget the messaging spam!

"Come join our game.
We just set up a game, jump in!
Looking for a good time? Well, i've got just the axe here for you!"

While i will be buying TL2, i'm also not exactly overjoyed at being tied to a DRM system (Steam).... however, I think i need to support good alternatives to Diablo. Might end up getting it once it goes on sale - still haven't completed TL1 yet.
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Brian Lewis Operations Manager, PlayNext7 years ago
It is interesting to read these comments from other people in the 'industry'. I personally see what Blizzard is doing as a big step forward.

They have found a way to better monetize their hard work, and have done so in a way that allows me to choose as a consumer how I want to spend my money.

Now, I am not saying that they have discovered a cure for cancer, or achieved world peace... they have just made the sensible decision to change how they monetize, and have done so in a manner that has a negligible effect on the player. I would think that as professionals in the same market, we would appreciate a job well done.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Brian Lewis on 16th September 2011 5:57pm

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Byoung Han Programmer 7 years ago
worst problem will be, kids buying expensive item with parents card that is saved in paypal account.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
@James - TLII will also get a retail release down the road, so you can always hold out for that and get patches right from the official site. Still playing TL1 myself, but going through it a second time. I'd love it if someone did a complete ShadowFlare conversion mod (all four episodes), as that's one of the game's influences...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 17th September 2011 6:54pm

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Jakub Poznański Jr Marketing Specialist, GOG.com7 years ago
The only thing that keeps me away from TL1 is the lack of co-op :< Plz plz release TL2 already!
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