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Jay Wilson: Auction Houses "Really Hurt" Diablo III

Former Diablo III game director Jay Wilson admitted the real-money and gold auction houses "really hurt the game," as Blizzard underestimated the number of players who would turn to auctions to outfit their characters. Joystiq has details from a GDC talk where Wilson said they thought the auction houses were a service players of their action/RPG sequel wanted, and that hosting them in-house would reduce fraud and abuse, but as in the end, they created an environment where collecting money was a primary goal over defeating Diablo and his hordes. He also says they would turn off auctions if they could, but they have "no idea" how many players this would disappoint. His contention that Blizzard thought only a small number of players would use the auction houses is hard to fathom in light of the game's design, which, for a considerable time before a series of balance changes required the very best gear to complete on the highest levels, even though such gear dropped so rarely it was impractical to try to collect it without using the auctions. Blizzard has a GDC talk scheduled for today discussing their iterative design process for Diablo III, and their preview of that mentions a number of systems that were reworked during the game's design because they were unsatisfactory, but all the examples they use are gameplay mechanics, and not things like auctions.

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72. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:55 Undocumented Alien
 
Dev wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 14:27:
Darks wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:01:
It may have sold that many copies, but there are defiantly not that many people sitting around playing it now. Compared to D2 this game has failed to hold its luster that kept many D2 players playing for several years.
What do you mean "may" ? It DID. In fact it sold 12m copies, they announced it on their earnings.
link
Not exactly a secret or a guess from NPD here.

Also, in last day or two, its been announced that they have 3 million unique players a month and 1 million unique players a day. Seems like its holding its lustre just fine for a large number of people (I'm not one of them).
http://www.gamespot.com/events/gdc-2013/story.html?sid=6406151

People aren't exactly sticking it to blizzard over this game even now. If anything the lesson blizzard will take away from this is they can say anything and sell anything they like and people will rush out to buy it.

As we all know they could have put dog shit in a box and slapped the Diablo Title on the front and it would have sold out 12 million copies. They could have put online DRM, limited installs, adverts, hardware dongles, whatever, it still would have sold 12 million copies... it is a Diablo brand game, they knew they had brand name leverage to do whatever they wanted.

As far as these new unique players, I wonder how many of those are just gold farmers?
 
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