Blizzard has u-turned on its declaration to keep the real-money and gold auction houses as a fixture in Diablo III, announcing that both will be removed in March 2014.
The pair spoke specifically on how the auction house concept ended up muddying the waters for overall player experience – despite it still being a success in terms of being able to safely and conveniently trade items.
When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades,” Hight stated. But as we've mentioned on different occasions, 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. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we've decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.”
We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.”
The removal isn't planned until March 18th 2014, nearly two years after the game's infamous launch.