Diablo 3 to remove both Auction Houses

Diablo 3 has come under criticism but mainly by it’s own creators, Blizzard. Game Director Jay Wilson admitted to Joystiq back in March that the virtual and real world money auction houses had damaged the integrity of Diablo 3. Blizzard hoped that by adding a virtual auction house on top of the real money auction house they would be able to reduce fraud within the game and by setting a price on items would limit the amount of products listed. Blizzard severely miscalculated. Instead around 50% of the one million plus players regularly use both auction houses and Blizzard feel purpose of Diablo is getting lost. Blizzard’s John Hight

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.”

The idea of earning loot by skill and dedication has essentially diminished within Diablo and Blizzard have made the bold decision of scrapping both auction houses in place of a new one, which should coincide with Diablo’s first DLC, Reaper of Souls. Details of this Loot 2.0 system are under-wraps. World of Warcraft banned real money transactions in-game, which does beg the question – why did Blizzard allow transactions to take place in Diablo 3 but not WOW? Perhaps this was to encourage people to sell under the watchful eye of Blizzard rather than resorting to backhanded black market sales or perhaps they get a slice of the pie? Fortunately Blizzard have learnt from their naivety.

However, the big problem Blizzard face is whether this will aggravate the current set of players who regularly use the auction houses. Will Diablo see an influx of new fans who were perhaps originally put off by the idea of real money transactions or will this see a mass exodus from existing fans? Either way the new Loot system will have to deliver.

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