The real-money and gold auction houses will be removed from Diablo III on March 18, 2014. Even though Blizzard has come out publicly to disparage the auction houses in the past and flat out skipped them for the console versions of the game, it's still something of a shock to the system to see them go away. Good riddance.
"When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades," writes Blizzard. "But as we've mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot."
The developer has been slowly but surely improving most of the faults with the core experience since it first released last year. This was one of the biggest remaining issues that needed to be addressed, especially with the Reaper of Souls expansion on the way. Specifics on how the auction houses will be phased out will be shared at a later date.
Diablo III Auction House Update [Blizzard -- Thanks, DeaviL]
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