In a somewhat surprising, but long requested move, Blizzard announced today that they are closing both gold and real money auction houses in Diablo III on March 18, 2014.
The auction house has been a controversial feature since the game launched last year. It was implemented with the best intentions in mind: to give players a safe and convenient way to trade items. While the auction house accomplished this, it quickly became clear that it had taken over the game, transforming Diablo from a game about killing monsters to get items to use to killing monsters to get items to sell until you can buy an item you can use (that is, if you’re not eschewing the monster slaying part entirely and simply playing the auction house game).
Moving forward, the game will focus on having fewer, more rewarding drops in a system called “Loot 2.0″ that is being developed alongside the Reaper of Souls expansion. Further details on the transition will be announced as they are worked out by Blizzard.