Looking back: It may be hard to remember now, but when Diablo III launched in 2012, fans had two major complaints about it – always Online request and auction house. Despite many loud complaints, Blizzard kept these features in place for over two years, and the developers recently explained why — it’s the box.
First, let’s remember the question that makes people angry at Blizzard. No one wants or requires an auction house. Many yelled “money grab” at the developers. Even more annoying is the forced online aspect of the game. Having to log into Blizzard servers to play with friends is one thing, but the single-player campaign also requires users to be connected to the internet. The reason for this is “security”.
A big problem with Diablo 2 is item duplication. Hackers would find exploits using rare equipment or large amounts of gold to create accounts and sell them online. Blizzard decided the best way to fight counterfeiting was to control the reseller market. So it creates a marketplace where they can monitor cheating.
oops! It’s hard to pull a feature out when the ad is on the box.
At this year’s Portland Retro Gaming Expo, former lead designer Jay Wilson said the auction house never made money (header). They know it won’t generate much revenue compared to games like World of Warcraft. Instead, they aim to control the market so players cannot be scammed. Of course, this requires the game to be fully online.
“That’s another reason we’re only online,” Wilson explained. “Because when you…don’t just go online…the hackers caught you.”
Wilson said the team wasn’t allowed to say it was for Safe because that would only
While the developers wanted to remove both aspects right away, they couldn’t because the auction house was a Diablo 3 advertised feature pack. Lawyers worry about false advertising claims. So for two years, the development team and the legal team debated the situation until they finally decided to eliminate the issues and hoped not to file a lawsuit.
Since almost the entire community hates these two-way games, it’s worth taking the gamble. They removed the marketplace and online requirements in 2014, and everyone lived happily ever after—that is, until Diablo was immortal, but that’s another story.