Blizzard’s Rob Pardo has spoken about the upcoming action-RPG Diablo III including auctions using real money in addition to the in-game gold system auctions. It can be a very deeply technical system to explain but we’ll try out a “lite” version of it.
Diablo III will let players buy and sell items using real money through auctions. How’s that going to work? First of all, it will be strictly monitored by Blizzard to make sure it’s a fun and interesting addition to the game rather than a lawsuit-filing pain in the butt. Who wants that, anyway. As for the actual system, it’s much like any other online auctioning system out there: Blizzard will be taking a piece of the cake for hosting the auction and once the trade goes through, an extra fee will be processed for covering the logistics of handling it. And, as is the core of every auction, the highest bidder gets the goods.
Once the trade has been completed, there are two ways to handle the winnings; you can either store it as a electronic credit on your Blizzard account, which will lock it down without the possibility of being redeemed for actual cash, or you can actually cash the proceeds. However, in doing so, the payout will be handled by a 3rd party payment provider which will charge a separate transaction fee for providing such service. The company Blizzard will be working with remains undisclosed given that contracts have yet to be finalized.
Basically, the real money auctioning system is a more subtle way of saying Diablo III will do micro-transactions, much like free-to-play games. At the end of the day though, if you’re good, you might just get a little bit richer by playing the game. We wouldn’t bet on actually getting rich though.