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Diablo III real money auction house announced, gold farmers stunned

In an announcement that is sure to stir up controversy, Blizzard Entertainment has unveiled a Diablo III auction house that will allow players to buy and sell in-game items for real currency via Battle.net. The real money auction house will launch alongside another auction house, which will allow players to sell and bid on items with in-game gold.

Why is Blizzard doing this? Loot has always been an important part of Diablo and Blizzard points to the long history of Diablo I & II players turning to inconvenient and unsafe ways to buy, sell, and trade in-game items both inside and outside of the game. Remember trading on chat channels on the old Battle.net? Remember how Stone of Jordan rings became the unofficial form of currency among players? Have you been bothered by gold farmers lately? Well, Blizzard sees the real money and in-game gold auction houses as a way to address these problems by providing a safe and secure way to facilitate the demand for trade that many Diablo III players will inevitably create when the game launches


Above: Yes, in-game gold can be bought and sold on the real money auction house in Diablo III. Also, look at all those Pants of Healing!

Blizzard aims to make accessing the auction house as easy as possible. Players looking to buy or sell can open up the auction house system from anywhere within the game. From there, you can pick the item you’d like to sell from your character’s inventory or from your shared stash, which holds items from all the characters linked to your Battle.net account. Then, you’ll need to decide if you want your item listed on the in-game gold auction house or the real money auction house.

Let’s say you want to try your hand at making some real money for an extra rare item you’ve found. First, you’ll need to decide if you want to use your Battle.net account or an “authorized payment method.” This is important. If you choose to use your Battle.net account and your item sells. The real currency will be stored in your Battle.net account and you won’t be able to “cash out.” That means you’ll be able to use the cash from your sale to go towards things like a World of Warcraft subscription or maybe a copy of StarCraft II. But how you use funds from your sales will be limited to things you can buy with your Battle.net account, like more loot in the real money Diablo III auction house, for example.

The alternative to Battle.net is an unnamed “third-party payment service.” This is how sellers will be able to “cash out” or directly access profits from sales on the auction house. According to Blizzard, the company is not ready to announce who it has partnered with to handle these transactions and promises more details later. But for now, PayPal or a service like PayPal, seems most likely to us from the way that the system is described.

So what’s Blizzard’s cut?...