Blizzard had a problem. In previous Diablo games, the possibility to trade items had led to the black market of loot D2R ladder items. Fans looking for the latest equipment were willing to pay, which also left the possibility of unscrupulous third-party sellers and price-cutting. Blizzard saw the perils of an unregulated, non-official marketplace for Diablo items, and thought it could better with a legitimateand regulated one.
“The auction house came out of the desire to recognize third party trading so that the players could stay within the game to perform their business instead of going to third-party websites, and as a result reduce fraud as well as spamming, scams, and the revenue generated by hacking into the game, creating dupes, etc. ,” former game director Jay Wilson said in an interview with DiabloII. net after leaving the company.
“The problem is, of course, that it over-legitimized trading. It made it way too easy. We all know that by now, as well as the consequences. We were worried about these consequences in the past and we believed that positive benefits would outweigh risks, and [World Of Warcraft’s auction houses] seemed like a good demonstration of the concept. Evidently, we were wrong. ”
The error was due to two main areas. First, the auction house contained a real-money component, which allowed players purchase loot in real-money. This aspect led Blizzard to criticism of engineering poor-quality loot drops to maximize market exchanges.
Because it took a tiny fee from each transaction, it took a small cut from every. Whether or not this was the case, the overall quality of loot was extremely poor at launch buy d2r items, and fans were justifiably suspicious–especially given that Blizzard’s acquisition from Activision was only a few years old at this point, and longtime Blizzard fans were watchful for any resulting changes in corporate culture.