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Diablo designer: Diablo 3 auction house had “detrimental effects”

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 02:26 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

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12 Comments

  1. Cobra951

    My car is 18 years old. Ford got less than the sticker price, and not much else after that. They didn’t get any respect for the amount of driving I’ve gotten out of this car. Yet they haven’t complained once about it.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. JimKieger

    “This message is brought to you, in part, by the NO SHIT Department of Common Sense.”

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    “Game developers, we work hard, and we want to be rewarded for what we do,”

    Yeah, which is why we fucking BUY your game. The # of sold copies, that’s your fucking reward.

    I don’t care what excuse they will use, it’s greed plain and simple.

    Your job is to create games that are worth buying. Our job is to buy those games. Don’t fuck with this simple concept.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    ^^ This

    To say nothing of the fact that if you have a huge active player base that just won’t go down, the truly honest way of monetizing that would be to create more quality content, instead of just jamming bullshit transactions down their throats.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. salarta

    And everything said up there about the auction house being implemented to “be rewarded” is a load of bullshit, plain and simple.

    The fact of the matter is, Blizzard knew very well about how Diablo II items were being sold for cash on places like ebay even to this day, and decided to exploit that fact by adding an official channel so they could get a slice of the pie instead of ignoring the behavior or actively trying to stop it. It had absolutely nothing to do with “rewarding” people on the development team. It had everything to do with exploiting consumer behavior for extra cash. In all likelihood, the people behind it thought they were being clever by instituting an auction house as a roundabout form of microtransaction.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. JimFear-666

    the guy say they did it but it wasnt for greed but after he said “if you play 10years at this game we want some money from your playthrough” which is greed…

    Anyway at this point, no one really care and everyone probably know this game is a epic failure.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DuckOfDestiny

    If that’s the case, there are a lot of boring, 3-4 hours games out there *cough* Remember Me *Cough* that developers should be refunding me for.

    Oh wait, that’s what second hand games sales is for.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. GamerKID1324

    Their 30% cut on the RMAH transactions “wasn’t the ideal solution”, as they wanted 100%, but it’s payment enough because people were still going elsewhere.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bradk825

    On the one hand I agree that no matter how long someone plays a game, they paid for it, there’s no need for the dev to make more money because you played it for 10 years.

    On the other hand, D2 was well supported LONG after I paid my money. There were plenty of patches, new items and updates to the leveling system added, new quests even and rewards even. They kept working on it and devoting time long after that sticker price was paid. So we were treated VERY well for having paid that sticker price.

    I don’t like the idea of the auction house, but I also didn’t like that people were able to build characters by purchasing items on ebay. If people are going to build characters that way though, I’d sooner see them pay the devs who will continue to support the game than some no-life who builds a bot exploit the game. The same people running magic find bots were running ad-bots that were wrecking the game towards the end. They’d come into your game, spam the chat box, filling the screen with ads for their site to sell you items.

    I know it’s popular to rage at devs every time they try to increase revenue so they can continue to make the games you love to play, but I think in this case it’s unjustified. If people are going to buy items, they shouldn’t be buying them from hackers and cheaters. If Blizzard is going to continue supporting a game 10 effing years after release, they should be able to do things to add revenue like DLC or selling items, it’s only fair. They do pay those employees to make updates and do server upkeep after-all.

    I haven’t actually played D3 yet so I don’t know what the “detrimental effects” were of the auction house, but I imagine they are likely similar to the detrimental effects of the ebay trolls.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    The PS3 version won’t have the auction house, right?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. bradk825

    @10 that’s my hope for all the console versions. In my mind there’s only one acceptable way to build a character and it doesn’t involve buying gear.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    “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.””

    ONE pay, one play. That was the deal for Diablo 2, and they expanded upon it, once after with Lord of Destruction – although, it is important to mention the fact that they continued supporting both with updates for an incredible amount of time, after that game is out.

    I definitely don’t see how their game that they released should attract additional fees, because people played it long-term. This simply demonstrates that they did good. Really, really good in this case. But, people like, enjoy and appreciate D2, so it didn’t get dropped after a short time. Blizz did the updates and patches, continued to fully maintain their game, and that’s a thing that I think is great, and should be appreciated.

    @9 They should not have selected a method of “additional reimbursement” that struck against the heart of what a lot of players view as a crucial part of Diablo. It was a poor judgement to manipulate the play, to make bank.

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]

  • Runescape developer has an “undisclosed MMO” in the works

    Runescape developer Jagex is working on something new. According to Jagex’s careers page, the developer has a new, unannounced game in the works. Its advertisement for a lead programmer makes explicit mention of an “undisclosed MMO”. The ad mentions the new title is in “the preliminary stages of redefining the cross platform MMORPG genre” and […]

  • Destiny PvP rewards system to be addressed

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it will change the way Crucible rewards work. Destiny players are always complaining about the perfidy of RNGesus, but there’s one area where it particularly hurts: the Crucible. PvP players often receive nothing at all for excellent performances, and sometimes Guardians receive the best drops merely for logging in as […]

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 in the works for 3DS

    Azure Striker Gunvolt is getting a sequel. Azure Striker Gunvolt developer Inti Creates has confirmed that the sidescroller has been popular enough to warrant a second instalment. The sequel will also be released on 3DS, the team said on Facebook. Very little information is available at present, unfortunately. “As time goes on we will have […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 not delayed, says developer

    Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has said the second episode is on track for release this month. I guess it would know. Life is Strange Episode 2 has been expected on March 13, but late last week Square Enix told Destructoid it had been delayed. Dontnod has since denied this report, describing it as […]

  • First SteamVR game reveal is Job Simulator

    Job Simulator is the first game to be announced specifically for SteamVR, Valve’s virtual reality tech. Shoot Many Robots and Aaaaa! For the Awesome! developer Owlchemy Labs is the first team to put its hand up and say it’s worked with SteamVR. In a blog post, the studio unveiled Job Simulator, which will be playable […]

  • HTC, Valve partner for Vive VR headset

    The first SteamVR announce is a headset a manufactured by HTC, the Taiwanese mobile company revealed over the weekend. Valve told us last week it planned to unveil virtual reality hardware at GDC, calling it “SteamVR” at the time. Now HTC has pre-empted Valve by revealing Vive, a headset developed thanks to a collaboration between […]

  • Watch the Evolve Chappie Challenge tomorrow on Twitch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios have announced a tournament being hosted by ESL, which will see Evolve players take on newest movie robot, Chappie. The ESL has teamed up with Twitch for the live 4 on 1 competitive event, and you can watch as it all unfolds tomorrow, March 1 at 3pm […]

  • If you’re attending PAX East, stop and have a look at Necropolis

    We haven’t heard much on Harebrained Schemes’ latest since it was announced in November, but today, the team has seen fit to release some interesting gifs of its a new project, Necropolis. Necropolis is a third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated which can be “re-rolled mid-playthrough” and is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online really is lovely, as these screenshots prove

    More Dragon’s Dogma Online screenshots have been released, and this batch is just as lovely as the last gallery we posted. Since this game will likely never leave Japan, the images are a bit of a salt rub for fans of the IP, but hopefully another entry in the series will be released at some […]

  • Action-RPG Death’s Gambit has a classic-Castlevania feel to it

    How would you like to become an agent of Death and rid the world of immortals? Then Death’s Gambit may just be the game for you. Announced by LA-based studio White Rabbit, the action-RPG with platforming elements tasks players with fighting gigantic enemies on an alien, medieval planet. Players will also encounter formidable beasts, knights, […]

  • Modder adds offline co-op into Resident Evil: Revelations 2

    PC users lamenting the lack of local, offline co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be pleased to know a modder has remedied the omission. The mod, created by FluffyQuack, adds offline co-op mode to Episode 1 but the only caveat is players will need to use gamepads instead of mouse and keyboard (via Gamespot). […]

  • Number of Steam accounts with Dota 2 installed hits over 42 million

    Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, resulting in the MOBA now having close to 43 million installations worldwide. The figures were published via a report from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR, which studied Steam accounts daily to better understand the service’s player behavior and title performance. According to statistics […]

  • Nintendo issuing Eon Ticket codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Nintendo is handing out an Eon Ticket to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire owners which will allow them to visit the Southern Island. Once a player arrives, depending on which version of the game they own, Pokemon Latios and Latias are able to be caught. The Eon Ticket was originally issued via StreetPass, but […]

  • Here’s a couple The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to brighten your day

    Two images for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced on the game’s Facebook page. Grabbed by Gamekyo, the images show Gerlat and Vesemir chatting with a fellow, and the other shows Geralt riding up to some ruins where some people have been hanged. CD Projekt Red will make an appearance at PAX East next […]

  • Hyrule Warriors Boss Pack DLC contains unlockable character – potential spoilers

    While you already know the next DLC for Hyrule Warriors will allow you to play as the gigantic beast Ganon, there’s a rather humorous unlockable character contained in it as well. Potential spoilers follow below. When the DLC arrived in Japan February 26, YouTuber moccos-tan IsedelicaAs posted a video of the unlockable character, which is […]

  • Star Trek Online players gather on Vulcan to pay respects to Leonard Nimoy

    Star Trek Online players paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy yesterday by gathering around a fountain on Vulcan, the home planet of Spock in the Star Trek series. According to a post by barnacle999 on reddit, when he logged into the MMO “there were around 20 full instances and several partial,” culminating in around 1000 players […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video shows invasion of The Forlorn

    A new Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video has been released, and provides the viewer with a look at the NPC invader system. Watch below as The Forlorn hunts down the player through the game with “with deadly skill and tenacity.” He even teams up with other enemies, making your fight […]

  • Visual upgrade for Wasteland 2, improved modding tools in the works

    A visual upgrade and improved mod tools are in the works for Wasteland 2, according to a blog post from inXile Entertainment. The upgrades will come about as the game’s codebase is migrated from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5. “A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline brings “Hollywood crime drama” to single-player campaign

    In the fifth developer diary for Battlefield Hardline, the team discusses how it’s bringing “Hollywood crime drama” to the shooter’s single-player campaign. The video was released a couple of days ago, so apologies are in order if this has been posted already, but I promise I searched the site and never found it. Visceral Games […]

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a pause for tactics isometric RPG coming in 2016

    Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a 2.5D isometric RPG, built in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age in the works at Withing Hour Studios. The game allows the player to pause combat to plan party tactics. “Set in the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre where rare masks are the key to casting magic, […]

  • Underworld Ascendant surpasses Kickstarter goal

    Underworld Ascendant which was launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, has met its  $600,000 funding goal. With six days left 10,786 backers pledged $610,541 In light of being funded, the team has also switched up the stretch goals as bit, as you can see in the image below. The studio, OtherSide Entertainment, is fronted by Paul Neurath, […]

  • Latest Evolve patch fixes progress and save game data loss on Xbox One

    A patch for Evolve has been released on Xbox One which fixes lost progress and save game data users had reported. The patch also fixes an issue with shadows and flashlight, makes incremental improvements to matchmaking, invites, and rejoining, and there were progressions balance changes. “The issue with lost progress and saved games was mostly […]

  • Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded shut down in Europe

    Online functionality for Ridge Racer Unbounded is no longer available, Namco Bandai Europe has announced. Solo mode and the track editor are still playable, minus the sharing options. Ridge Racer Unbounded was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2013. Thanks, MCV.