Blizzard has sent emails to all Diablo 3 players that it has decided to close the Auction House component of the game. Apparently, the move to “legitimize” the trade of virtual gold and artifacts has backfired on the economy of the game.
Before Diablo 3, there has been a huge economy behind the trade of virtual gold and artifacts which seems to have exponentially increased during World of Warcraft. As such, Blizzard decided to include the Auction House as a core part of the ecosystem.
However, it looks like majority of the players are in it for the money and not the love of “bashing demons and monsters“.
We are writing tell you about an important change to Diablo III: we’re going to be removing the gold and real-money auction house system from the game.
When we initially designed and implemented the auction house system, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But after much review and player feedback, 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.
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. Please note that the final shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014.
For many players who made a killing collecting rare artifacts and making thousands of dollars, this could be the end of an enterprising hobby. But who knows, an underground economy might spring back to life in its stead.