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

Tuesday, 30th 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.



  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 1 year ago
  2. JimKieger

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

    #2 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago
  10. YoungZer0

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

    #10 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.