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Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:07pm 25/10/22 | 0 Comments
As part of a deep dive into Diablo 3 at the recent Portland Retro Gaming Expo, the game's lead designer Jay Wilson opened up about the infamous Auction House that was removed prior to the game's Reaper of Souls expansion. He outlined the reasons why it was added, and why it took so long to remove.

The latter was due to the Auction House being listed as a feature on the retail box, and the team was unsure they could remove it without legal ramifications. "The reason we did not get rid of it right away when we saw it was a problem was legally we didn't think we could because it was advertised on the boxes," Jay Wilson says. "We actually took a long time to try and work out all the legal issues before we finally said okay, we think it's worth trying it. If we get a lawsuit, 'Oh well'."

Jay Wilson also explains that the reason for creating the Auction House was purely to control trading, item duplication, and other elements that were uncontrollable with Diablo 2. The Auction House featured a real-world currency component but making money was not the driver, and actual revenue was a drip in the bucket for Blizzard compared to WoW.

"It wasn't money, we didn't think we'd make that much money from it," Wilson says. "The biggest problem with Diablo 2 was item duping and duping hacks and all the gold sellers and all those things. There's almost no way to fix that problem without somehow controlling the trading market. There's lots of good ways to do it, but that was our idea at the time. The trading market's in the game. We control it, so the hackers don't."

The removal of the Auction House and the subsequent Loot 2.0 redesign is now the stuff of design legend, taking an arguably great game and refining it to a pristine sheen.

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