Since the RMAH went live last week I’ve been looking for interesting coverage of it online. I figured we’d see a rash of articles from an economic perspective, or ones surveying the early market changes, etc. I’m still looking. Other than Azzure’s quick reaction post, there have been few useful mentions of it, and most of those seem to have been beamed in from 2002 with a shocked/puzzled, “Lookit those crazy kids paying money for things that aren’t real!” mindset.
The News Statesman covered the early high price listings and lack of sales with a somewhat humorous and largely-fact free piece about the Devastating Price Crash in the Diablo III Hamburger Market.
The problem with the Horadric Hamburger is that although it’s classified as an extremely rare item by the game, it’s actually a bit rubbish. The game models stabbing someone with a hamburger relatively faithfully. That is to say, it doesn’t hurt very much. As a result, no player who is practiced enough to find the damn thing is actually going to use it. It’s a bit like a solid gold tennis-racket.
The Horadric Hamburger
So the natural reaction of all the players was to take this immensely rare, precious, thing which they didn’t actually want and use a new feature of the game which debuted last Friday: the real money auction house. There, they could sell their valuable trinket for cash money, and use it to buy real hamburgers which they can eat, rather than stab NPCs with.
Unfortunately, it seems everyone else had the same idea. As PC Games Network reported, three hours after the auction house opened, the burgers were listed at an average price of £87.91, with 12 chancers going for the maximum price of £200. By Tuesday, it appeared that they had realised their folly. Although it’s impossible to tell how many sold, the average price had plummeted to just £7.50.
Elsewhere, the website of a Sacramento, California TV station has an article about one of their employees allegedly making $250 in 9 days via the RMAH.
The game is Diablo III. The idea is to kill monsters for stuff that allows you kill tougher monsters. Mike’s customers are people who want to skip ahead , and they are willing to pay – sometimes as much as the cost of the game itself – to do it.
The black market for this equipment for years. But Diablo III creators have built the auction functionality right into the game. And, they take a cut.
“I’ve made $250 in nine days,” Hilscher said.
Remember, we are talking about real, U.S. Dollars.