Developer Blizzard is removing the auction house from Diablo III.
Diablo III production director John Hight explained in a company blog that the new system the studio is developing for the Reaper of Souls expansion will “result in a much more rewarding game experience.”
“When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades,” wrote Hight. “But as we’ve mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the [auction house] 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.”
Hight says the studio is still determining exactly how it will shut down the auction house, but it plans to pull the plug officially on March 18.
“We wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible,” wrote Hight.
The company also released the following video regarding the death of the auction house:
Diablo III debuted in May 2012 for PC. The much anticipated game was initially well received, but some long-time fans felt the auction house presented some fundamental issues.
Players could grind through the game to unlock loot and then put those items up in the auction house for in-game currency or real money. Others could then buy rare items they’d otherwise never have access to. As Hight wrote, many felt this was cheating the core Diablo experience.
Earlier this month, Blizzard released the console version of Diablo III for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 without any auction house.