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Diablo 3 will sport a couple of in-game auction houses to sell items from player to player. One will be run entirely with in-game gold (very similar to the current WoW Auction House), and one will let players sell and buy items with actual money.

During a press event at its headquarters in Irvine, CA last week, Blizzard Entertainment showed off both the Diablo 3 beta and its associated Battle.net service. While most of the Battle.net features were pretty standard (there will be persistent friends lists, cross-game communication, and full matchmaking services for all of the game modes), the auction system stood out.

Yes, Diablo 3 players will be able to spend real money on in-game items, but rather than a traditional item store, Blizzard plans to create a system wherein players sell items to each other — the eBay of Sanctuary, if you will. Players will be able to put items up for sale in each of the game’s various regions around the world (with a different real-world currency for each), and other players will be able to spend real money to buy them, with the real-world money going back to the original item owners.

Blizzard will take fixed fees (as yet unrevealed, though they’ll be “nominal”) out of the sale price both when an auction goes up for sale and when it is actually sold. And when an item is sold, players will either be able to keep earned money in a Battle.net account for spending on Blizzard products and services, or cash out entirely, with another, percentage-based fee through a not-yet-announced third-party payment provider.

As you might imagine, Blizzard’s been thinking about this one for quite a while. Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo shared a lot of thoughts with us, including why they’re going with a system like this, how it will all work, and what this means for the future of Diablo 3, Blizzard Entertainment, and the gaming market at large.

Gallery: Diablo 3 Battle.net services (8/1/11)

Continue reading Diablo 3 to feature player-to-player real money auction house for virtual items

JoystiqDiablo 3 to feature player-to-player real money auction house for virtual items originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 01 Aug 2011 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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