Blizzard to remove real-money auction house from Diablo III

Developer acknowledges that it "ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot"

The idea of a real-money auction house in a Diablo game has been a controversial and divisive point for many gamers since it was first announced. While Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime first defended the idea, noting that it was being included "to provide convenience and peace of mind for those players who might otherwise turn to third-party services to buy items," the studio has now backtracked, saying it undermines Diablo III's gameplay.

In a post on the official website, Blizzard has officially announced its decision to remove the gold and real-money auction house system entirely. The auction house system, which saw multiple delays before finally being implemented last June, will shut down on March 18, 2014.

"When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we've mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we've decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III," said Blizzard's John Hight.

"We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players. We're working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible."

More stories

Blizzard faces poposed class-action lawsuit over Hearthstone card packs

Suit argues packs deceive minors into making non-refundable purchases, Blizzard attempting to move case to another court

By James Batchelor

Blizzard Versailles employees continue to fight studio's closure

Verdict expected in weeks as French labour inspection agency says financial performance didn't justify the extent of the layoffs

By Marie Dealessandri

Latest comments (7)

I refused to ever use it... the fun is in bashing monsters and THEN getting the random loot... it amazes me sometimes that there seem to be people who, if given the chance, would pay just to press a button that would put them at the top of a leaderboard or give them the best equipment rather than go through the process of earning it.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
The auction house is nothing but a machine which converts unwanted loot, into wanted loot. In its core form, it is no different to certain crafting mechanisms which D3 received in the past, where players would salvage unwanted loot to then get materials to craft, hopefully, useful loot.

If Blizzard can address the issue of loot being divided in 1% maybe useful loot and 99% junk loot, then the auction house is, indeed, useless and can be removed. However, how does the program know what a player considers helpful loot in the first place? How does this affect the value of loot that it creates in the pleasure center of the brain upon dropping? It takes some time until you are a hardened pessimist about your drops. How will players react, if loot then is only another time gate which prevents them from progressing to the very end, hell monster power level 10? Remember, junk loot might have been junk loot, but it was still progress, since the auction house could convert junk into good items. If that catalyst is missing junk loot is junkier than ever.

A game such as Borderlands has shown how the absence of an auction house is not a bad thing for a loot driven game. It will be fascinating to see where Blizzard will take cues from Gearbox and where they will go another route. Not to mention seeing how the consumer reaction will be in all of this.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Edward Buffery Head of LQA (UK), Testronic8 years ago
I was very disappointed to see all the negative feedback regarding the auction house. It seems that a lot of players were complaining that it's necessary to use it heavily in order to progress, which is rubbish, frankly. I was never particularly interested in the auction house for the first 75% of my playtime, but after taking 1 toon halfway through inferno I did start just selling off a small minority of my loot, and by placing lowest bids on a few mediocre items I won the occasional bargain. I never felt compelled to buy anything for the buyout price though and definitely never felt that I NEEDED to use the ah. I'm confident I could have completed inferno with no ah use at all, it would have taken me a while and involved a lot of dying but the same goes for ANY game I attempt to complete at the highest available difficulty level, which is why I generally don't bother, along with getting bored of the repeating the same content for the nth time, which is actually the main reason I stopped playing.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (7)
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
No Auction House!!! Yay!!!!
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Well, the console version sure plays wonderfully without it. And in co-op with people in the same room, it's lovely...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
The gamescom demo might be far from what is released in terms of loot 2.0, but it is interesting to point out that the same boss seemed to always drop the same legendary each run. Minor variations on the stats of course.

Eric pointed out that players required trade to go get the gear for specific builds and was right. However, if Blizzard took this process of finding the right gear and turned it into "finding the right boss" by eliminating random drops, then nobody needs the auction house, they only need to farm the right boss until the item drops. Much like Borderlands I might say (e.g. farming a Bee shield)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Axel Cushing Freelance Writer 8 years ago
Now all they need to do is get rid of the always-on connection. Without the AHs, their stated reason for always-on goes away.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.