Most players knew that the real-money auction house would be a detriment to the Diablo III ecosystem prior to launch, something that even the former Game Director Jay Wilson has even realized. But both the gold and real-money auction houses of Diablo III will soon both be a thing of the past. Blizzard today announced that both will be shutting down early next year.
In a recent update, Production Director John Hight and Game Director Josh Mosqueira confirmed that the auction houses will be shutting down ahead of the launch of the first Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, on March 18th, 2013. The changes are aimed at supporting the new Loot 2.0 system and make loot more exciting and rewarding for players.
Trading items in Diablo II was a bit of a social activity. Players would create rooms with names like "Trade" or any other variation for others to join in and negotiate an exchange. It's unclear if Blizzard will be making changes to support this or some other method in the future, but in it's current state, Diablo III doesn't quite have the systems currently in place to allow more than a few players in a room at once, let alone the option to name it. In any case, the duo promised to reveal more at BlizzCon in November, so stay tuned. You can watch the full announcement video below.