Blizzard Entertainment has officially shut down the Auction House in Diablo III. This includes both the gold Auction House and the real-money Auction House. A controversial concept right from the start has been removed from the game – forever.
For those who are unaware, the gold Auction House enabled players to take the items that they found in game and put them up for auction. Doing so could result in the sale of the item and some gold for the player who sold it.
The real-money Auction House functioned in a similar way. Players can take the items they found in the game and put them up for auction. The difference, though, was that instead of gold (the in-game currency) the items sold in the real-money Auction House allowed the seller to earn some real world money.
The real-money Auction House in Diablo III was the first time that Blizzard Entertainment created an auction house that could be used to earn real money (instead of in-game currency). I remember people being really excited by the idea of selling enough items to pay for their subscription to World of Warcraft (one of Blizzard Entertainment’s most popular games).
There were both positives and negatives to the Auction House system. On the one hand, the Auction House was a great way for players to obtain the items they were hoping to find in the game, but could not. Previous to a recent patch, the “loot” system in Diablo III was problematic. On the other hand, there were those who felt that the Auction House allowed players who had money to “pay to win”. They could buy the best items, and gain an advantage over players who didn’t have the real-world money to spend.
Love it or hate it, I think all players of Diablo III benefited from the Auction House (both types). For example, I’ve never used the Auction House. Several of my friends have, though, and they used it to buy some really awesome items. When they “outgrew” those items, they shared them with other players, including me. The removal of the Auction House is an “end to an era” in Diablo III, and it comes shortly before the Reaper of Souls expansion is released. Good times are ahead!