Diablo 3 Auction House Will Allow Real-World Money Transactions

Last week, we got to spend an entire day at Blizzard HQ in Irvine, California for a lengthy series of interviews and hands-on time with Diablo 3, the long-awaited, still in-development resurrection of the classic action RPG series that hasn’t seen a new game since the expansion pack for 2000′s Diablo 2. That’s a big deal in an of itself, but the biggest news is that when Diablo 3 launches sometime next year, it will include an official auction house for the trade of in-game items.

Much like World of Warcraft after it, once upon a time the Diablo series was known for a brisk gray market trade in in-game items. That trade had no official support, no oversight and relied on an awful lot of trust. That environment continued into World of Warcraft, where we saw outright speculation, stock market stye, that drove up prices on these virtual goods and negatively impacted players’ enjoyment of the game. People occasionally got screwed and quite often paid far more for an item than they should have. There was also the problem that items needed to be traded player to player in the game itself. These issues were particularly bad when the items sold for real world cash instead of in-game currency or barter.

After years of trying to stamp out the gray market, Blizzard eventually got wise and introduced the World of Warcraft auction house. The auction resolved a lot of those problems (and made Blizzard a ton of scratch. Ch-Ching!!), which worked out pretty well for them, unless you consider adding even more money to their massive pile a failure. So naturally they’re looking to build off that success in Diablo 3 right from the start with a Diablo 3 Auction House that will be available day one.

So what will this mean for Diablo 3 players? In brief:

* The Auction House will two sections. The first is for sellers and buyer wishing to use real world currency. This will allow players to purchase items using ‘supported’ real world currencies. A comprehensive list of allowed currencies has not been released, but assume the major world currencies will be accounted for.
* The second section is for sellers and buyers who wish to use in-game (gold) currency earned during play.
* Blizzard will be charging sellers two separate transaction fees; a fee for posting an item, and a small percentage of the final sale amount. No price point has been confirmed but Blizzard insists these fees will be ‘nominal’, amounting to ‘microtransactions’.
* Players choosing to use real world currency will be able to utilize ‘an approved’ third party payment service. PayPal would be the obvious conclusion but Blizzard has not finalized a contract with any payment service yet.
* Players will be able to sell weapons, magical items and valuable in-game objects in these auctions at the time of launch.

For more, see our in-depth analysis of the Diablo 3 auction.

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18 Comments on Diablo 3 Auction House Will Allow Real-World Money Transactions

psycros

On August 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

PC gaming is dying rapidly thanks to money-grubbing crap such as this. Its all turned into World of Barbie Freemium Dress-Up Raids. Screw Blizzard and the rest of them for destroying the last vestiges of actual gaming.

steven

On August 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

@psycros well you kinda don’t have to use this ” Money-grubbing crap” and I would know nothing of “Barbie Freemium dress up raids” I’ve never played World of Warcraft .

Grammernatzi

On August 1, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Psycros, it’s players selling the items. Which means you can actually make money off of wasting your life on the game. That’s not too bad, although I’m sure a portion of the money spent goes to Blizzard.

PissedGamer

On August 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I will not be buying and supporting this garbage. I will play torchlight 2

LichKing

On August 2, 2011 at 3:15 am

Play World of Warcraft.This is an original game.No money required on server private.Good Luck!

J

On August 2, 2011 at 4:07 am

@psycros I really didn’t want to hear about PC gaming dying because it really pisses me off and I think Blizzard should reconsider changing it to the in-game money instead of being money grubbers.

Red Menace

On August 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Always-on DRM, no modding AND real-world money handling? Welp, I’m out.

Comptica

On August 3, 2011 at 2:33 am

F%CK yourselves Blizzard with a huge long wood post. You all are so damn blind with greed you haven’t realized that with this action you’ve killed your future Diablo modding community with this action, and we all know Diablo 2 mods are great. Instead of a honest gaming company that makes games for people to enjoy you make games just to take money from the people that enjoy playing them. You all are parasites & leeches spreading your virus among the last of the PC Gaming community. These types of actions promote more pirates and hackers because they may not have the money to spend.

Seffyr

On August 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

I’m loving the rage going on here. I think this is a fantastic idea – it’s the auctioning of digitally earned goods. It’s essentially no different than auctioning real life goods… You worked hard for them, you might as well be able to sell them for real life money.

Everyone who is ing is essentially saying “I’d rather pay money to play a game for no reward”. I don’t know about you, but the concept of being able to make some real life moolah from D3 appeals to me. Even if there is a small “Transaction fee” (Even if it was as high as like 10%, making $13.50 and losing $1.50 to Blizzard is fine to me)/

Also, quit ing about mods. Mods and hacks have ruined far too many potentially good online games. This isn’t a sandbox game – get over yourselves. The amount of “Good Mods” compared to idiots running around wearing +9999999 everything gear and smacking down people’s HC characters in the middle of town isn’t even comparable.

Comptica

On August 4, 2011 at 1:09 am

@Seffyr Your fueled by greed. Digital Gold and items are nothing, they have no real world value. They are imaginary and to help or let a mega corporation profit on that is wrong. This won’t help people but it will definitely hurt them.

You obviously haven’t played Diablo 2 or any real mods not cheats like you’ve just mentioned. I’m talking about mods like Median for instance. Heck Diablo 3 is using features from Diablo 2 mods.

If you think you’ll be protected from idiots using hacks and what not then you better consider that again as anything digital can be modified and changed nowadays and things like this just fuel hackers.

Go ahead and jump into the cash grab bus with Blizzard. Soon they will have all your money.

Red Menace

On August 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

The making money thing sounded good to me, until I realized Chinese sweatshops will out compete me just like in WoW.

Auctoneer Lex

On August 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

I’ll definitely explore the auction house D3 a lot, I see it as just another fun factor in an incredible universe and great game. However, I think it will be quite tricky to be a master salesman inside D3 as you’ll need to survey the market constantly and know all the tricks in the book.
The loot system of the Diablo games is so random that it becomes a frenzy to kill everything – as all the mobs inside the game have a small percentage of dropping a godly drop. There will be, of course, a higher chance of attaining godly items from hell bosses.
Whatever the outcome of the auction house, Blizzard will come out as the boss. The hunger for both the game and now real life money will surely be better than crack cocaine for most gamers.
Good luck to everyone, it’s definitely going to be really fun.

Sin

On August 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I would have liked to have played this game, when it was announced 3 years ago.

Not now.

Sid

On November 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Who gives a crap anyhow, your all using Mods and Bots to play there is nothing real about Diablo2 and never was

Die noobs

On December 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I don’t mind blowing $500+ on a godly item because I work all the time and will gladly pwn you noobs with the best gear. Why so ez? Kri more noobs.

Laincore

On December 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm

With a real money Auction House u can even more say “Hi” to China Farmers. The Game Industry is more and more changing to Casino and Bandits substitutes.

All u can do is: enjoy the content, keep the money tight and do not try to compete with junkies and money wasters.

Charlette Krumwiede

On December 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm

BSA is really good, but am not able to sell slots easily! Used BSA before 5-6 months also, at that time I sold two 125×125 slots for 40$.

Matt

On March 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

We live In an age where piracy has crippled the sales of music CD’s and had a large effect on DVD’s, TV programs, games, films and undoubtedly other medias too, not to mention the whole worldwide economic climate! Ordinary people are struggling to find work, and many are taking up work that they may never have done, just because they don’t have much choice. Generally, it is a time for change in the world. All the pre mentioned media industries are finding new ways to continue there business, just as everyone else is. Blizzard themselves have recently had to lay off workers and make cut backs. They are thinking of ways to keep on being able to provide the service that they always have. If this is a way that they think will help them stay on board, then fair enough. I don’t think they are greedy. I think they prove this by continuing to put 100% into every game they produce. I am going mad with anticipation for Diablo 3, but I’m glad they are taking there time to ensure it is as good as they can make it. So, are they greedy or moving with the times? Everyone has there own opinion. Mine is good for them! If people aren’t going to buy there products because of this, I say good for me and those that will! We won’t have these fools clogging up blizzards servers!

I hope you enjoy my essay on gaming economics!