This week it’s been revealed that Blizzard Entertainment’s own Diablo III will be coming to the PlayStation 4 without access to the Real Money Auction House still present in the desktop PC iteration. Though this might have some odd effects on those hoping to play the game with access to weapons, armor, and everything in-between with their own real-world cash, Blizzard is presenting a firm “not a chance” as they suggest that, if they could, they’d take the whole mess out of the game entirely.
If you have a travel down our Diablo III tag portal, you find a series of stories that are just as often negative and full of disappointment as they are exciting and action-packed. This release was one of the most long-awaited in the history of gaming, with 8 years separating the second installment of the series (Diablo II in 2000) and the announcement of this title.
Though Diablo III was first announced in 2008, it was only actually released to the public on May 15th, 2012. That’s one massive amount of time for a game to be in development, especially with the 5-minutes-of-fame atmosphere we’re in now. Then there’s the bits and pieces that Blizzard has had to change right from the outset. Today’s big kicker is the announcement from former Diablo 3 Game Director Jay Wilson.
Speaking with Joystiq this week about Diablo III’s real money action house, he suggested that the feature has “really hurt the game.” According to Wilson, over 50 percent of the players that play regularly use the auction house, while most of the auction house’s use is with in-game virtual gold rather than with real cash.
Because of this gold use, not necessarily the real money, motivation to collect gold and broken items (otherwise useless, able to be sold in the game to virtual vendors for gold), have become far more popular goals for users. There’s simply not as much junk everywhere anymore – Diablo II continues to be a massive mess of item drops and coins.
“I think we would turn it off if we could, [but it's] not as easy as that.” – Wilson
Citing the near-impossible task of figuring out how much of the Diablo III user population wants the auction house to stick around or be kicked to the curb, Wilson was clear on one point: they are looking for a “solution.” A solution to what, exactly, we might never know.