Diablo and Diablo 2 lead designer Stieg Hedlund isn’t a big fan of the auction house in Diablo 3, although he understands why Blizzard implemented it.
“I think it had detrimental effects on gameplay throughout,” Hedlund told PCGamer of the auction house.
“They did want to reserve a certain tier of loot for the auction house, and therefore it wasn’t dropping in the game with the kind of frequency that people were looking for it.”
Hedlund said that he ‘gets’ why Blizzard implemented the auction house, and said he doesn’t think it’s a matter of greed.
“Game developers, we work hard, and we want to be rewarded for what we do,” he said.
The fact that Diablo 2 was still on shelves and still being played, in Korea particularly, ten years after the fact of its release was something that I think Blizzard was kind of like ‘Hey, we got the price of the box and not much else out of that.’ That doesn’t respect the amount of gameplay that people were clearly getting from it.
“So I can definitely see that point of view, where they say, ‘Hey, we should be rewarded for what we’re giving the audience,’ and then think about ways to do that.”
Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson said at GDC that the auction house wasn’t the ideal solution, and that if Blizzard could take it out, it would – a far cry from his position close to launch.
Hedlund is currently working on Facebook Diabloesque Chronoblade.