Let’s get right to it. Blizzard Entertainment revealed that the company will be shutting down the auction house for its dungeon crawler Diablo III. The entire auction house, not just the real-money transaction side or the in-game currency side. In the not-so-near future, players will only be able to receive items from strangers the old fashioned way, through the trade window.
Blizzard realizes that much of the economy is based on the AH, so is giving players until March 18, 2014 to complete whatever transaction may remain outstanding. That’s a full six month heads up. Initially expected to engage players and increase community interaction, while unleashing a new revenue stream for the developer, the auction house was plagued with issues since its inception.
Blizzard has publically decreed that the feature simply didn’t flow with Diablo’s main theme, killing monsters to gather loot. Instead, it allowed many players to “pay to win” or farm gold, or analogous items, instead of those beastly foes.
There’s more explanation from Game Director Josh Mosqueira and Production Director John Hight in the vlog after the cut. What were your thoughts on the auction house? Did you use it? Do you think this’ll have an impact on Blizzard and microtransactions moving forward?