This is not a joke. Blizzard are pulling the plug which is one of the best decisions we have seen from the development team for some time. I think you’ll agree that Reaper of Souls just got a real boost with this announcement.
The auction house will close on 18 March and could that be a rough indication of a release date for RoS early next year? Exciting times ahead.
We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.
We’re working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.
Josh Mosqueira and I wanted to provide everyone with a little more information behind this decision, so please have a look at the video, and stay tuned to this site for further updates in the months ahead.
Click through for the FAQ and a video explaining the decision…
The gold and real-money auction houses have provided a convenient and secure system for trading, but it’s also become increasingly clear that despite the benefits they provide, they ultimately undermine Diablo’s core gameplay. A big part of Diablo is the thrill of battling demons and finding epic loot. While buying epic loot in the auction houses might be more convenient, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as heroic as plowing through a pack of fearsome-looking monsters and having them drop that one awesome item that seems like it was made for your character.
Q. Will this change affect both the gold and real-money auction house?
Yes. We will be shutting down both the gold and the real-money auction houses.
Q. When will the gold and real-money auction houses be removed from the game?
The gold and real-money auction houses will be shut down on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
Q. Are the gold and real-money auction houses shutting down at the same time?
Yes. The gold and real-money auction houses will be shut down at the same time.
Q. Are the gold and real-money auction houses being removed for all gameplay regions?
Yes. The gold and real-money auction houses are being removed for all gameplay regions.
Q. Why aren’t the auction houses being removed sooner?
Since the gold and real-money auction houses receive a regular amount of daily activity, we wanted to inform everyone of this upcoming change as soon as we made the decision and give as much advance notice as soon as possible. Also, removing the auction houses from the game is no small endeavor, and there are many technical and gameplay-related questions we still need to answer before this change is implemented.
Q. Are there any plans to add the gold and real-money auction houses back into the game in the future?
No. We have no plans at this time to add either the gold or real-money auction house back into the game after they are removed.
Q. How will the removal of the gold and real-money auction houses work from a technical perspective (for example: What will happen to posted auctions, items or currency in the Completed tab, Battle.net Balance, etc.)?
We’re still working out all the details regarding how the auction houses will be shut down. We know these details are important, and we want to ensure that this transition goes as smoothly for everyone. We will be keeping everyone informed as we work through this process.
Q. How will I be able to trade with other players once the gold and real-money auction houses are shut down?
Once the gold and real-money auction houses have been shut down, players will still be able to trade with one another using the in-game Trade Window.
Q. How will the removal of the gold and real-money auction house affects changes planned for itemization in Reaper of Souls, specifically “Loot 2.0”?
One of the main goals behind Loot 2.0, which is being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls, is to make playing the game the most rewarding path to getting items. That goal has not changed with this decision, and in fact was one of the big inspirations behind the removal of the auction houses. We’re still moving forward with all the changes previously revealed as part of Loot 2.0, but we’re also looking at additional improvements we can make that will help ensure that the loot hunt and trading experience in Diablo III is as satisfying as possible.