Diablo III player makes $10,000 from in-game auction house

Reddit user claims Diablo's gold is "more easily exchanged" than the majority of the world's currencies

A Diablo III player claims to have earned more than $10,000 in real currency since the game was launched.

The player, known only by his pseudonym "WishboneTheDog", answered extensive questions on the feat for the Reddit community, submitting screenshots of PayPal and Auction House transactions as evidence.

While WishboneTheDog wouldn't give precise item descriptions and information on sales and trading techniques, he insisted that the $10,000 total was earned without cheating of any kind, and almost entirely through trading on the game's Real Money and Gold Auction Houses - the only real money invested was the $60 needed to buy the game.

""The market will definitely speed up, and I suspect the top end items especially, when Blizzard releases PVP"

The majority of the person's buying and selling takes place on the game's Gold Auction House: 2,000 transactions, versus 500 transactions on the Real Money Auction House - "The RMAH is merely a way to convert my gold to USD," WishboneTheDog noted.

"I just maintain a balance between value of items and gold. I try to have enough gold/item value to purchase any under-priced item in the game. There are items worth 1.5bil+; I want to be able to purchase them for 600k if necessary."

WishboneTheDog now trades exclusively in "high end" items - nothing worth less than 50 million gold - with the most expensive single item being sold for 1.5 billion gold before Blizzard took its cut. He also observes that Diablo's gold in-game currency is "more easily exchanged" for real money than "90 per cent of the countries in the world."

While Diablo III's in-game economy has slowed since the weeks following its launch, WishboneTheDog expects it to pick up again when PvP is released.

"The market will definitely speed up, and I suspect the top end items especially, when [Blizzard] releases PVP," he said. "It is a reason to need those items again for everyone who has finished Inferno."

WishboneTheDog's interest in virtual item trading started with Neopets. He now studies economics at a "good university" and has a "day job" in the stock market.

Gamer claims to have started his interest in virtual goods while trading Neopets. The person also claims that his (or her) day job is in the stock market.

"I hope to consult with game companies someday about balancing the economies of their games," he added.

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Latest comments (5)

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
Not having played D3, and only reading about it when it comes to people complaining or stories like this, I genuinely ask:

How easy would it be to launder money through the RMAH and Gold Auction House?
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I haven't used the RMAH myself and I know very little about the ins and outs of laundering money, but I wouldn't imagine it would be very useful as there is a 15% transaction charge(plus unspecified PayPal-end charges) for sending money to a PayPal account from the game. The PayPal linkage isn't even available in all regions where the game itself is available.

I mean, technically it's possible? But there surely must be easier ways to do it.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 9 years ago
Blizzard takes 1/$1 from each transaction made in the auction house.
Blizzard then keeps 15% of whatever money you transfer to your Paypal account.
Then there are taxes to consider. And tax law, and more.

I suppose it depends on the amount of time he spend to earn the $10k. For a one hour per night hobby, that is a lot of money. I assume he does not play the game, he only interacts with the trading post itself. Finding cheap items, selling them at a more expensive price and use the gold earned to buy items good enough for the real money auction, selling them there.

Moneylaundering can be done more efficiently. Sure, it can be done using D3, but there is no reason to do it that way.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd9 years ago
From what I've heard around the grapevine (neogaf) there are people who have made quite a bit more than $10,000 on Diablo III. Heck, Valve said that one guy is earning $100K a year on TF2 hats. There is real money to be made in a player economy, if you have the time and drive.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
mmm... I didn't think it would be particualrly easy to launder money through this, but, like I say, I've not played it, so just curious. :)
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