Former Game Director Jay Wilson admitted that Diablo 3‘s Auction House that features both in-game money and real money “really hurt the game.”
According to Wilson, Blizzard planned the Auction House feature under the assumption that it would reduce fraud, provide a highly-demanded service to the players, that only a small percentage of players would actually use the feature and that the item prices would limit the number listed and sold.
However, when the Auction House went live, Blizzard realized that they were wrong about two of their assumptions. Over 50% of Diablo 3 players make use of the Auction House which, according to Wilson, is around 1 million a day and 3 million a month. This made the game more focused on real money than that game itself.
“I think we would turn it off if we could,” he said. However, it’s “not as easy as that.” Blizzard cannot quantify exactly how many players prefer the system or find it terrible. That being said, it would not look good for Blizzard if they removed a feature that players liked using regardless whether it ruins the game or not.