Diablo III’s real-world currency auction house was put in the game primarily to quash dishonesty and streamline trading, says the game’s director Jay Wilson.
"The whole trade economy of Diablo II was a really interesting element of the game, but the game didn't support it hardly at all. And so we looked at that and said that's a real failing, and something we need to fix," he said.
He also acknowledged that provided the service was useful, he had no problem with Blizzard taking a slice of each sale total.
"I don't think it's a bad thing to want to make money. I think it's a bad thing to want to make money off things that are not a good service or product for your customer, and that's our inherent belief."
"Do we want to make money off it? Of course we do, because we want to continue to make games, and we want to be successful. But we also think it's a good service. We think it's a thing players want, and want to do, and they want to be able to do it securely and easily, and they want to be able to make some cash off of it if they want. They want to be able to recycle that back into getting more items," he said.
Diablo II eventually developed its own consumer-run item economy, where players would buy and sell items through eBay or other third-party websites.