Blizzard announced today that they have officially launched the real-money auction house (RMAH) on Battle.net. The service will allow Diablo 3 players to buy and sell in-game items will their own hard earned currency.
The RMAH has been the subject of much controversy among the Diablo fan base with criticisms alleging the service amounts to a pay-to-win strategy for Diablo 3. Other criticisms have said that the service is too vulnerable to account theft, a criticism that Blizzard addressed yesterday with the announcement that all RMAH users would need to verify their accounts with an authenticator (opens in new tab).
The RMAH has been delayed several times amid a rocky launch for the much-anticipated Diablo 3 which launched back in May. Even now it's running into issues, with problems buying and selling money and abundant errors.
After messing around with it a bit, we're also skeptical as to what effects it will have on the regular economy. The default price for selling gold is 400k for $1, which has the potential to completely cripple the in-game auction house by allowing anyone with a few dollars to be a millionaire, which will likely raise prices across the board. We'll be experimenting with it for the next two weeks to see if this doomsday scenario actually comes true, so be sure to check back for frequent updates.