The introduction of the Diablo III RMAH or Real Money Auction House gained a mixed reaction from the players of Diablo III. Some saw it as a greedy move from Blizzard (the game developer and publisher) but other people considered it as a necessity for gamers.
The Diablo III RMAH serves as an alternate way for players to get rare or in-game items that they need. The process uses the usual gold currency of the game or real money. Then, it is also a good way for players to earn hard cash. Next, it is a good opportunity for Blizzard to get additional income from the game by taxing every transaction made in the Diablo III RMAH.
Jay Wilson, the former director of Diablo III, stated in his GDC panel entitled Shout at the Devil that the RMAH did not turn out the way that Blizzard expected it to be according to IGN. He said that they could have cancelled it if it weren’t for the repercussions that may occur.
Wilson pointed out that the Diablo III RMAH presents players a safe way to trade in-game items using hard currency. This effectively reduced fraud which players experienced during the previous installment of the franchise namely Diablo II. He said that because Diablo II players relied on third party sites that require credit card information and game passwords for trading, their risk of running into a scam is likely.
Blizzard determined that the demand is high for this kind of feature so they decided to introduce it into the new game. But lately, due to the negative backlash that the company gained from it, Wilson admitted that it was a wrong move on their part said the report.
In addition, Wilson commented that in a game like Diablo, it feels great to acquire items through exploration of the game and killing monsters. But the feeling of getting items in exchange for money is not just right he added. The source mentioned that Wilson’s statement reflects the view of other players around the globe who voiced out their thoughts regarding the auction house.
When IGN asked why didn’t the developers just proceed and scrap the whole RMAH feature entirely, Wilson replied that many players actually use it and this is the reason too why the game draws a lot of players from time to time.
According to the statistics mentioned by Wilson, Diablo III still attracts a million of players every day. Every month, the game lists approximately three million unique players. Furthermore, there is a high percentage of the total number of players of the game that utilizes the auction house.
The original plan is for the RMAH to be used for trading rare items only. But as the game went on, almost everything has been up for grabs using cash said the former director of Diablo III. Therefore, scrapping the feature has the possibility of making loyal players walk away from the game.
IGN noted that there is a significant number of players who gave up on the game due to the RMAH. So, Blizzard should think about how many they will gain back instead if they decide to bring down the RMAH completely.