During a press-only beta preview this weekend, Blizzard confirmed that the highly-anticipated Diablo III will feature an in-game auction house through which players will be able to purchase items, gold, and even characters, in exchange for real-life cash. Blizzard has stated the idea for the auction house arose due to the black market surrounding previous titles, and that the company would rather see players engage in such transactions in a safe environment, rather than having third parties handle the trade of such items illegally. More details on the service are included after the jump.
Gamespy reports that players will be able to post a few items to such auctions without a charge every so often, but that this service will usually require a fee from players. Blizzard indicates that this is to prevent players from posting useless items, though the company will take an additional fee out of the total sale-value of the auction.
Though it was speculated that the service would also make its way to World of Warcraft, as the black market surrounding the trade of items, currency, and characters has been sizeable for years, but Rob Pardo, the executive Vice President of Blizzard, told the attending press that the service currently seems to make more sense for Diablo than the immensly popular MMORPG. Due to the more random nature of the items dropped in Diablo III as compared to World of Warcraft, Pardo stated he is convinced the service would serve a bigger purpose in the dungeon crawler.
When asked specifically about bot-controlled characters and farmers in Diablo III, Pardo indicated that Blizzard currently sees little need to crack down on such practices: if “it doesn’t really break the game — if it gives players what they want — what do we care? Who are we to interfere?”