OK, prepare a new online purse. Diablo III is going to have two marketplaces – one for in game gold, WoW status, and another utilizing all RMT. During a preview of the D3 beta last week, Blizzard showcased the game itself and the updates to Battle.net planned for the game.
Blizzard has made it known that they will profit from miniscule amounts skimmed off of each transaction, as each item will go on a regional list for player-to-player sales. Best of all, the funds generated for players can go to either a Battle.net wallet or the bank account of a player should they choose to cash out. If anything, this is a reactionary move to the RMT sales of Diablo 2 items still going on, since we all want the Lodesfallen Flamme for our ladder characters.
Adding to the fun is the pure randomness that has been a hallmark of the Diablo series, which means tons of unique items on the marketplace to keep things interesting for some time. Rib Pardo, Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard, justifies the marketplace further by saying,
“There are some people out there that don’t have the ability to put a time investment into the game, so they do want to use real-world money to kind of advance their character. And the other side of it is that there are people who have a lot of time and don’t benefit from it, because they’ll be able to generate items, and get better items or cash it out.”
We all win!
Pardo is also quick to deny that the system could be qualified as underage gambling, a personal profit race, and an overarching metagame to one-up each other endlessly.
“The way we’re trying to do the transactions, there’s not really an obvious example of how we can design the game differently or manipulate the game that would somehow turn into more revenue on the auction house. I want to protect us or the playerbase from those possibilities. If the players don’t partake in it, then it’s up to them. Our job is to make a compelling game and compelling items, and we would do that anyways. […]Let’s just say that you’re participating in real-life contests, and you won a car. And then sold it on eBay. Is that gambling?”
I, for one, am looking forward to this implementation, as it will open up an even wider array of items for both gold junkies and those with extra change to spare. Then again, the reaction to this system could end up being an overwhelmingly negative one that could lead to accusations of promoting avarice and self-interest in profiting out of naïve microtransaction choices. But, hey, doesn’t everyone want to make some money? And getting that awesome armor you can’t find no matter how many Thousand Pounders you kill might be worth it.
Until the game comes out, take a gander at the proposed marketplace window.