The controversial gold and real-money auction houses in Diablo III are set to be shut down come March 18, 2014. In the words of Blizzard:
When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we’ve mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we’ve decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.
We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.
We’re working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible.
Personally, I feel this is the vocal minority (of people who weren’t playing Diablo III anyway) winning over the silent majority who’ve been perfectly fine with Diablo III (after all the patches over the course of the year). Hopefully they don’t over-adjust the upcoming Loot 2.0 system to rain Legendaries like it does in the console version of Diablo III. Initially, players were ecstatic about constantly finding powerful loot, but already there is much whining about it now being “too easy”.