On March 28th, Joystiq posted a brief news article where they discussed Diablo 3 with Jay Wilson, the Game Director for its development as well as much of the time post release. The main piece of information is his statement that both the real money and gold auction houses “really hurt” the game. A statement many people would agree with, and many people had echoed through the past leading up to the release, and afterwards.
It isn’t news that the auction houses hurt the game, but it is news that a historically vocal defender of the game would concede such a major point against it within a year of its release. This combined with Wyatt Cheng’s admission that co-op is not the dominant mode, leaves Diablo 3 with only the pillar of piracy fears to stand upon for its troublesome implementations and mechanics.
The heavens did not tremble upon Diablo’s return, the gamers did, and their points are being slowly conceded by the developers, once it is out of their hands.
Destructoid reports that the PlayStation 4 version of Diablo 3 will not have the Real Money Auction House, or DRM in general. It will be fully playable while offline. The Real Money Auction House was at least at one point used as the justification of the always online requirement, a requirement enforced by remotely executed game logic, turning your experience into one of playing OnLive but with your machine having to do the rendering. With that gone, PlayStation 4 users can experience the game as PC users had hoped to, in a responsive form.
Let us not forget that the Real Money Auction House does not bring necessarily new functionality to users, item trading for cash has been around much longer than Diablo 3, rather this loops Blizzard in on the activity. It is a feature that is primarily for an additional monetization loop, one that does not add any content to the game. Remember that PC users were restrained in both device and experience for the sake of this monetization scheme, and PS4 users will be receiving the game without such restraints. PC sales were insufficient for Blizzard, but PS4 sales are. Continue reading