"It ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play."
project director John Hight has announced
that the game's troubled auction house feature would be shut down by March 18th, 2014.
"When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trade," Hight wrote in Blizzard's official Diablo 3 updates blog
. "[However] 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."
's auction house, which allows transactions in real-world currencies, has been at the epicenter of economic problems for the game in the past. Blizzard previously announced in May of this year
that it was donating money raised by a recent duplication bug to charity.
In the announcement of the auction house's closure, Hight added that the team was still "working out the details" of how to remove the auction house system from the game, but said an announcement was made early in consideration of players. The auction house closure acts in conjunction with Diablo 3
's planned Loot 2.0 system, which Hight said "will result in a much more rewarding game."