Blizzard is to hand over the profits generated from a recent bug in the Diablo III Auction house to charity.
The popular PC dungeon crawler allows players to trade in-game items for real-world cash. However, a recent patch introduced an exploit that allowed users to multiply their cash reserves.
The problem has now been fixed but not before 415 of players pushed the cheat to its limits.
Shortly after we released patch 1.0.8 in the Americas on Tuesday, players discovered a bug that allowed gold to be duplicated via the real-money Auction House,” Diablo III production director John Hight stated.
Only a relatively small number of players had the billions of gold necessary to exploit the bug, and only 415 of those players chose to use this exploit for personal gain. As soon as we confirmed what was happening, we took the Auction Houses in the Americas offline and suspended gold trading in order to isolate the problem.
The Auction Houses remained offline and gold trades remained suspended until we completed a full audit of all transactions that occurred during this period. Once that was completed, we brought everything back online.
While this was happening, we locked accounts that appeared to be exploiting the bug as well as collaborators that held gold or items for the exploiters. Once we confirmed that an account was involved in this exploit, we either banned or rolled back the account depending on their activity.
As of this this post, we have already recaptured more than 85 per cent of the excess gold from the accounts involved, and over the days ahead we will continue to pore over our audit data to reclaim as much duplicate currency as possible.
We'll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players – including all of THEIR sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee – to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.”