Blizzard Entertainment has recently announced that they will be shutting down the “Diablo III” Auction Houses. The real money auction house was a headline making selling point when the game was originally released for PC. Now after the auction house has been excluded from the console version of the game it’s being discontinued for the PC version as well.
Originally "Diablo III” was released with a real money auction house and another that used in-game currency. In the real money auction house players could auction off in-game loot for real life money that would be transferred to their PayPal accounts. The in-game currency auction house allowed players to sell their loot for in-game gold that would be transferred to their D3 accounts.
The inclusion of these auction houses was an effort to diminish black market dealings in which players trade in-game items for real world currency through illegal venues. The inclusion of the auction houses was considered revolutionary and even controversial in some countries, such as South Korea, which never allowed the real money auction house to be included in their regions version of the game. When the game was released for consoles the auction houses were not included.
Blizzard explained their decision for removing the auction houses all together in an announcement to battle.net users stating, “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.”
The change for PC D3 players won’t be coming until net year. The procedure for shutting down the auction houses hasn't yet been decided. Blizzard commented, ‘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”
Blizzard has made a blog post and video concerning this recent decision and promises to keep players in the know. Those using still using the auction houses for ‘Diablo III” have some time before the service is closed but should start preparing or it’s discontinuation.