Blizzard Will Take A Big Cut From Any Money You Try To Make From Playing Diablo III

You'll have to cough up a significant fee while selling items on the real-money auction house in upcoming action-roleplaying game Diablo III.

That's the catch associated with one of the big new features in Blizzard's big new game: the fact that you'll be able to buy and sell in-game items with other players in Diablo III. You couldn't do this officially in earlier Diablo games. In the new one you can, but with fees attached.

So what are you going to be able to buy and sell? Gold. Items. Money and loot, basically. And since Diablo games are all about collecting loot, this is probably going to be a popular feature — so popular that you just might want to turn some in-game sales with other players into real money to line your wallet. And that's where the fees come in.

When you sell commodities such as gems and recipes on the auction house, Blizzard will take a 15 per cent cut of the final sales price, the developer said in an extensive FAQ posted today. When you sell equipment such as weapons or armour, Blizzard will take $US1 per item.

Blizzard will also take its own 15 per cent cut as a transfer fee if you cash out to third-party payment service PayPal. (This is in addition to any fees that PayPal may charge on its own.) If you want to avoid that fee, your only option is to deposit your profits in your Balance, which you can then use to buy digital copies of Blizzard games or more items at the Diablo III auction house. Your Balance can't be turned into cash. You can link a credit card to pay for items, but you can't use it to receive money.

In other words, if you're selling commodities and you want to turn your profits into real cash (not funds), you'll have to pay Blizzard a 15 per cent sales fee, then a 15 per cent transfer fee. If you're selling equipment and you want to turn your profits into cash, you'll have to pay a $US1/item sales fee, then a 15 per cent transfer fee.

"Note that the process of sending proceeds to a third-party payment service will be subject to applicable fees charged by Blizzard and the third-party payment service," Blizzard writes in its FAQ. "Also, any proceeds from the sale of items in the real-money auction house that have been sent to the player's Balance will not be transferrable to the third-party payment service account."

For avid Diablo III players, these fees could add up quickly. They could also drive players to buy and sell on the shady black market websites that were prevalent back in the early 2000s, when Blizzard had no official real-money auction house for the popular series. But Blizzard says even with transaction fees, players will prefer the officially sanctioned system."The item-based nature of Diablo gameplay has always lent itself to an active trade-based ecosystem, and a significant part of this trade has been conducted through unsecure [sic] third-party organisations," Blizzard said. "This has led to numerous customer-service and game-experience issues that we've needed to account for. Our primary goal with the Diablo III auction house system is for it to serve as the foundation for a player-driven economy that's safe, fun, and accessible to everyone."

Your Balance will cap at $US250, after which you will no longer be able to put items up for sale in the real-money auction house. The maximum amount you can bid on an item is $US250. The minimum is $US1.25.

Blizzard also said they will not be putting items up for sale themselves; all transactions will be left up to players.

Auction House [Blizzard] Diablo III Auction House - Functionality [Blizzard]


    Yet another reason to not care about Diablo 3

      You don't have to use the real money system...

        But you are subject to an always on-internet DRM to facilitate it, which put me right off.

          ^ this. Diablo went from a day one to a not-until/unless-it's removed purchase. (no, not going to pirate it just to stick it to them)

            Absolutely. All I wanted was Diablo 3
            As in: Diablo 2 with revamped gameplay, maodern graphics, and new story.
            Not a pseudo-mmo, not cash-shop for developers. I wanted to buy a copy, bang it into my pc and have it just friggin play with no required internet connection.

            Blizzard haven't abandoned mods have they? How do you mod this game? As far as I know the loot tables are part of the DRM to stop people from hacking in items to sell... which would theoretically screw up mods right?

              At this point, I don't think you can say they have abandoned mods. They haven't even activated the anti-cheat system (Warden) yet, so anyone who states that they're going one way or the other is speculating. What must be remembered is that REAL MONEY is now involved in this game. Any attempts to alter the game will not be allowed if there's a chance that they'll have any impact on the game's economy. At the moment, the only mods available are entirely graphical (DarkD3), created by someone in response to those who argued the game was too bright and colourful.

              The loot tables, monster AI, and other critical resources are located entirely on Blizzard's servers. This, along with the persistent internet connection, is probably the most effective system to prevent both hacking and piracy in a game that we have seen up to this point.

              Real modding is basically not possible. Perhaps you can reskin the game and such shallow graphical mods, but total conversions or even adding items or changing skills is not possible and is not going to be. Thank goodness Torchlight II supports offline play, lan play, and full modding.

          Wrong, It's not DRM at all. It's an only only game, instead of having an offline and online mode like in Diablo 2 (with offline player multilayer being full of hackers due to editing save files) they only wanted the game to be online. That's not just playing multi player but participating in the community through cash shops, it's not DRM at all they just didn't create an offline feature because how they have it is fine for a closed like in D2 they are just missing an open section that leads to offline. The of that is people usually play single player first then want to move online see how the hackers, learn about closed and make a new character Blizzard didn't want that to happen. They also wanted to encourage building of the community and economy which wouldn't happen offline again, the game is an online game not DRM there is a difference. Some people are so misinformed.

    The $1 fee is to weed out those serious about putting up money, and the transaction fees aren't necessarily a bad thing either as I'm certain the RMAH will be a trial micro-transaction system that Blizzard will use in their next MMO.

    Besides, losing 15% then another 15% (note, this doesn't equal 30%, more like 28%) isn't that bad considering people are taxed in the real world... But hey, do it officially or risk getting screwed buying off shady websites, it's like gold sellers in WoW all over again.

      Most people aren't on a 28% tax scale, however :-p

      You technically should also be taxes on that money as well since its technically income much like you get taxed for interest earned on a savings account or investment.

      So technically your going to lose 28% before you get any money and if your actually doing a fair bit of this trading you should be paying tax on it.which would be less avoidable if your taking the money out of PayPal and into your bank account(at which point PayPal has taken another cut

    hahahahahaha. does this game have subscription costs too?

    I don't see how this is an issue, you sell items you didn't pay for (other than paying for the game itself) and make a profit, the only people really getting screwed is the people dumb enough to spend real money on the in game items

      What this guy said. Who cares if there is fees. If u did not pay for the item in the first place then its win win

      What this person said.
      Hell you find an item in game, you sell for $20 on auction house and have to pay say $8 out in fees to blizzard and paypal. That's still $12 made for playing a game and if you happen to do that a half dozen times then you have then made back the money for the game.

      Its free money you knobs, stop winging and being greedy little shits.

    Why is there a 15% fee on the "Gold Auction House"

      This is basic game economy stuff. As gold is a limitless thing, that means, if the auction house just serves as a facilitator for gold going round and round for different players, that gold will lose value over time, until we reach a point like what happened in D2, where gold is worthless. The fees on the gold auction house here are a textbook 'money sink', and one of the ways Blizzard are ensuring that gold retains value.

    As far as i'm concerned anyone looking to make a living from playing Diablo needs to get a f*cking life/ real job and anyone looking to pay for items they could collect by actually playing the game should do the same.
    This sort of gouging bothers me far less than companies charging for day 1 DLC or allowing players to purchase gameplay benifits directly from them.

    Did anyone else think that the article picture was a Demon stroking his *you know what*??? I can no longer unsee!!

      Here's another one:

    It's a bit silly because people can still use real money to buy items on the gold only auction house when they don't have the funds.
    Simply just add funds to your blizzard account and away you go.

    Rememeber that your selling items that you found in a virtual world created by them, so your not entitled to anything. Basically they provided you with commodities, as well as the marketplace to trade them, so there shouldnt be an issue with them taking some money from it. Not to mention you DONT have to use it. Its not there so blizzard can make money, its there to provide a safer alternative to the black markets that many people would end up using if this didnt exist. Atleast this way the prices can be dictated by the players, rather then some shady offshore company (and NO blizzard will not be interfering with auction system in any way other then to fix bugs, etc. ie. theyre not going to corruptly influence prices). I see this as only a positive thing on every level.

      Hah. I consider myself a devout fan of the Diablo franchise, am super excited about D3, and consider the auction house a fantastic thing, but you're deluding yourself if you think profit potential, and the opportunity to create an ongoing revenue stream with the Diablo franchise, had no part in Blizzard bringing in the auction house. They saw all these sites like D2JSP making a healthy chunk of change by offering a centralised trading post, and wanted a slice of it. Yes, it does help with controlling the economy, yes, it (obviously) provides safer transactions, but the fact that someone that wasn't Blizzard was making a profit from Diablo 2 was definitely a driver towards bringing in the auction house, even if it wasn't the primary driver.

    Here's an interesting question. Who would you rather: Would you pay real money to Blizzard for an item, or to a China farmer for the same item but w/o the fees?

      Hard choice but I'd probably go the cheaper alternative (providing you can trust the farmer).

        Considering it's more efficient these days for the farmers to hack people's accounts than actually just grind, and when caught, lose the item and get suspended, I'd rather just go though the AH myself.

    Why we discussing this issue like Diablo III is about to become everyone's new fulltime profession. Any real world money you make while playing the game by selling what would have been useless items is just gravy. Diablo II you could do runs for hours for almost nothing, at least now you can potentially earn half the next SC 2 expansion doing what you were going to do anyway. Or use the money to by a second diablo III accounts you force your loved ones to play 24/7 in your new make-shift sweatshop.
    Early retirement thy name is Diablo

    Buy a crapload of gold cheap and wait for the value to go up.


      Why would the value go up when there is incrementally more in the game?

    that extra 15% transaction fee is total bullshit, that first 15% I though, yep no problem, that extra 15% so you can actually enjoy the money means that I won't bother out of principle, or I will sell it on something like ebay instead.

    If they had a product library like Steam then it might be worthwhile having credit with them, but they have far too few games, and I already own them all so what use is having a bunch of money with them?

    Also that $250 limit is far too low...then again, I never sell anything for real money anyway, wish I did though, used to be a hardcore gamer and would have a few thousand dollars more in my bank if I didn't get so damn attached to my virtual characters (that is until I stop caring, by which point the accounts aren't worth near their peak).

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now