In a bold move and reversal from how the game has been for the last year and a half, Blizzard has listened to a vast majority of their player base and have decided that the Auction House is too much of a detriment to the Diablo experience and will be closing the doors on the gold and RMAH on March 18, 2014.
Game Director Josh Mosquiera explained in the video that with loot 2.0 coming before the Reaper of Souls expansion that they really want to make the game about finding new items and the auction house just made that way too convenient. Production Director John Hight explained that the auction house was developed to give players a safe environment to trade their items without having to resort to 3rd party sites – however, it was a bit of a double edged sword because it also took away the foundation of what made Diablo fun and that was finding those awesome items on your own and trading them with friends.
With that said, with loot 2.0 coming soon and the auction house going away, it seems as if Diablo 3 will be following in Diablo 2’s shoes where the expansion of the game will make it a huge success. Remember, Diablo 2 really didn’t have great reviews and most of the nostalgia people remember about the game came from the expansion. The only other thing Blizzard could do at this point is offer rune words again (which I don’t see happening) or offer some kind of offline play (also doubtful as the console version has offline play and already hacked items are showing up).
Also, just wanted to say that the date of this is March 18 – we’ve been predicting Reaper of Souls to hit early 2014, sometime around March to April. With this date of removing the auction house it seems it’s quite possible Blizzard is definitely targeting a Q1-Q2 2014 release for the expansion.
So what are your thoughts? Are you happy to see the Auction house go? Are you sad about it because maybe you used it as a small source of income? Or are you indifferent either way? Let us know in the comments.
You can watch the video and see the full reasoning of the Auction House going away here.
When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But 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. 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.
We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.
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 shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.
Josh Mosqueira and I wanted to provide everyone with a little more information behind this decision, so please have a look at the video, and stay tuned to this site for further updates in the months ahead.