Diablo 3 Auction House officially closing

The Diablo 3 auction house has been the cause of much debate ever since the game's launch. Blizzard have now announced that the auction house will close in March, citing that it "undermines Diablo's core gameplay of killing monsters to get cool loot". I agree, somewhat. For the complete picture, one needs to look at Blizzard's own tinkering with the loot dropping mechanics.

Good and relevant items drop so rare that in order to have enough gear to win, you would be required to use the auction house, and to get the really good stuff, you needed to use the real money action house. The amount of good item drops was squeezed to such a point that using the house was unavoidable.

I'm glad that they chose to close it down, but I think they would have achieved their goal of getting people to focus on the game rather than auctions would have worked just as well had they reworked the loot drop system, which they will have to now anyways.

Original quote:

We are writing tell you about an important change to Diablo III: we're going to be removing the gold and real-money auction house system from the game.

When we initially designed and implemented the auction house system, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But after much review and player feedback, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot.

We're working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the final shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process, but feel free to check out our blog post on the subject, and stay tuned to Diablo for further details.

- The Diablo III team