In our post about today’s Activision/Blizzard Conference Call, we made brief mention that the Real Money Auction House was discussed. Since this is right up his alley, our D3 Markets guy Azzure did more than briefly mention it; he listened to the call and wrote a post about the RMAH aspects of it. Here’s a quote:
Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime explained that the World of Warcraft Annual Pass was partly designed to bring in more players in to Diablo 3, which they expect will boost revenues generated by the RMAH. Mike and another chap (the CFO Thomas Tippl, sounds like the Terminator) also explained that they expect to generate high margins on the RMAH, and therefore want to expose as many players as possible to take part in that system.
To those who don’t know what that specifically means, it means they expect to generate a good ratio of revenue vs the operating costs associated with maintaining the RMAH (administrative costs, server costs etc). In other words, they expect the profits margins in the RMAH to be very high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the actual amount of profit will be high. This isn’t surprising at all – micro-transactions have always been high-margin revenue streams due to their low operating costs and popularity.
Azzure goes on to say that more profits from the RMAH is a good thing for the Diablo 3 gamer, since Blizzard will ensure that the game remains popular, the economy active, and that bots and hacks don’t ruin things. So even if you don’t want to buy/sell for real money, the existence of the system works to your benefit.
You may find fault with that arguement, but consider… Blizzard was not going to support, for free, the much more actively-moderated Diablo 3 servers forever (D2 style). They had to get some continuing revenue, and if not the RMAH, what would you have preferred? An item shop? A monthly sub fee? Regular $5 DLC patches with new dungeons? Or do you think something else, or any of those would have been preferable to the economic corruption you feel the RMAH is sure to cause?