Blizzard’s Jay Wilson has said Diablo III’s development team implemented the Auction house into the game because players like to trade for real money, and now they won’t have to do it outside the game anymore.
Speaking with MCV, Wilson said the idea came about when players were trading in-game Diablo II items for cash outside the game. Compound this with the fact players “want to buy items,” and you have yourself an Auction house inside D3 without the possibility of getting “ripped off.”
“I can’t tell you how many hardcore Diablo players I know who pay money for high-level items,” he said. “I also have a lot of friends who went to pay real money for in-game things and got ripped off. It’s a game about trading items; it’s a game where trading is the best path to getting the best items.
“But Diablo 2 didn’t facilitate trading at all, so in doing the Auction house we really want to facilitate trading, and we really wanted to embrace what players were doing, and what we knew players were going to do regardless of whether we did real money or not.
“We don’t really try to overly categorise out players. So if we think that a significant percentage of the player base wants to trade for real money, we’ll try to support that player base.”
Wilson said implementing the Auction house also facilitates trading without harmful effects, allowing the players to still work towards acquiring the items in the first place.
“It would be harmful for us to sell the best items in the game for real money – that could potentially be quite harmful in Diablo because now, we’re actually removing the impetus for why you play the game in the first place,” he said. “But if it’s facilitating trading, I think that’s very different because it still requires them to acquire the items by themselves.”
Wilson went on to say the team has plans to grow and support the game post-release, there are “some ideas,” in place but for now Blizzard isn’t ready to discuss it.
During its call to investors last night, Activision-Blizzard said Diablo III has set an all-time, worldwide pre-order record for Blizzard and today, Amazon announced the game was the most pre-ordered PC game in the retailer’s history – even surpassing StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm pre-orders.
Game’s out next week.