Diablo III down-time portends Real-Money Auction House launch

You may well be experiencing some heavy down-time on Diablo III today or over the past couple of days due to Blizzard's newest security update that will in the end reveal the first release of the real-money auction house for the game. The update comes aside a key changed to the site's Terms of Use which includes a brand new requirement for a Battle.NET authenticator attached to one's account before they can use the auction house. This update will lead you into a world where you can both pay and earn real cash sums in exchange for digital goods, a service which did exist via eBay in the Diablo II iteration of the game, but never officially tied to Blizzard Entertainment itself.

This update will allow you to add cash to your Battle.NET balance which will then allow you to exchange that balance for in-house funds which in turn will allow you to purchase items for your characters to use inside the game. Battle.NET have updated their news feed with an alert that reads as follows:

"While we understand that this creates an extra step for players during the login process, we believe this added layer of account protection will help foster a safer auction house environment for all of our players." – Battle.NET

This update will have separate sections which include hardcore-only auctions, auctions for gold-only (as we've seen already), and normal real-money auctions. We'll be following this ecosystem closely to see what real cash money does to the world of Diablo this time around. Stay tuned!