Nice article on BBC.com about Diablo III, with a focus on the trading and economic aspects, especially with the Real Money Auction House due to go online…. soon™… A quote, and thanks to Fmulder for the tip.
What Diablo 3’s auction house also represents, though, is a fascinating fiscal experiment in its own right – not least because it explicitly acknowledges something that has been implicitly true within online gaming for a long time: economics is an awful lot of fun.
Indeed, economics isn’t just “fun” like football or kiss-chase. It’s good, hard, complex, peer-to-peer fun, in the way that work ought to be but most often isn’t. As anyone who’s made more than a few purchase on eBay will know, electronic auction houses offer labyrinthine delight once you’ve learned their language of bids, deadlines, quests for rare purchases and sudden discovery. Match this with the option of earning your assets by teaming up with other players and slaughtering picturesque hordes, and you have a seriously entertaining business proposition. Not to mention the pleasures of making a sale and learning to read the market. Does it look like demand for high-end barbarian swords is rising? Buy now, hoard your product, then sell when prices hit their peak.
Are you guys eager for the RMAH to get going? Even if you’re not planning to use it, you must be curious to see how sales go and what prices get paid?