Blizzard Delays Real-World ‘Diablo III’ Auction House a Week
Blizzard has set a date for its real-money, Diablo III auction house to go live: May 29, about a week after originally scheduled.
Blizzard revealed the updated date in a brief note to its blog. Still, the date was tagged with the caveat “estimated,” meaning that the date could be pushed further back.
The auction house’s delay can be traced back to the problems Blizzard had launching Diablo III on its first day of operation.
Activision Blizzard was forced to take the Diablo III servers offline at least twice on Tuesday to fix “several issues” that were impacting the game. According to a support thread on the Battle.net forums, Activision took down the game’s servers at 10:22 AM PT for an hour, then from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, then from 2:15 PM PT until 3:30 PM. Players posting to the Blizzard support threads, however, reported not being able to play for hours.
That, in turn, prompted an apology from Blizzard, and a promise to delay the real-money auction house to ensure a positive experience.
What is the Diablo III auction house? Like some other games – Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMO, among others – the auction house isa virtual bazaar in which players ca buy and sell virtual items found within the game. Diablo III is almost unique, however, in that players can choose either a “gold” auction house, where payments are made in virtual gold coins found in the game, or real money. Players playing in “hardcore” mode access a “hardcore only” gold auction house and do not have access to the others. Blizzard also said players could use PayPal, but for an extra fee.
Each of Diablo III’s three game regions – the Americas, Europe, and Asia – has its own separate set of gold- and real-money auction houses, one for each supported currency in the region, Blizzard said.
In the real-money auction house, for equipment such as weapons and armor, Blizzard will charge $1 for each U.S. player who successfully sells the item. (Other currencies will be charged somewhat similar amounts, such as 1 for U.K. players.) For commodities such as crafting materials, gems, gold, and other “stackable” items, a 15 percent transaction fee will be deducted from the total sale price, Blizzard said.
For more, read analyst Jeff Wilson’s 40 Minutes with Diablo III, Geek.com’s Journey through Diablo III’s Act 1 and check out PCMag’s unboxing of the Diablo III Collector’s Edition.