Archive for February, 2012

Diablo 3 real money

You are probably aware that Diablo 3 is going to have a special Auction House that works with real money. Players who have found a rare item will be able to offer it for real money at this Auction House, instead of eBay.

(Btw, the real-money transactions are the main reason Diablo 3 had problems getting the blessing of Korea’s game board. Blizzard had to remove the feature for Korean audiences, thus delaying the game further.)

It was always clear that the real-money auction house (RMAH from now on) was a way for Blizzard to get additional money from power players. The interesting bit is HOW MUCH!

Tobold’s blog reveals that the minimum price of any one item at RMAH is $1.50. So in a way it is similar to Apple’s iTunes (or AppStore) where the most common price is $0.99. Apple takes a 30% cut off your App revenue.

It looks like Blizzard is a lot GREEDIER than Apple. If you post an item for $1.50 and you sell it, Blizzard gets $1.25. Yes, that’s right. You get 25 cents and they get the remaining … 83%!

Of course, Blizzard fanboys would argue that the percentage is much lower on a $150 item but whoa… who wants to pay $150 for a Diablo 3 item? With competition as intense (millions playing), you could bet that MOST items will have to be priced at the minimum in order to find a buyer.

Note: The Diablo 3 beta has tested the RMAH, however, instead of real money, players were give 50 “fake” beta bucks. Of course, prices of items during the beta don’t allow us to make predictions about the real game. There are very few items in the beta worth money, the money is not real, and there only a few thousand players playing.

Diablo 3 moved to June

When Mike Morhaime officially moved Diablo 3′s release date to 2012, he said there’s still hope for a 2011 release but more realistically, it will come in early 2012.

Everyone was excited that at least Blizzard had moved from the SOON (which is of course shorthand for “as soon as it’s ready) to something more specific. Most looked for precedents of Blizzard missing a holiday season only to launch the game in February. Well, that’s certainly not going to happen this time.

During the latest investor conference call, Mike Morhaime said:

“Given the popularity of the action RPG genre, and the keen interest in Diablo III, we expect this launch to be a big opportunity for Blizzard. We can also confirm that we are targeting a Q2 launch for Diablo III”.

So there it is, brace yourselves for a May-June release. Remember to be wary of any retailer who claims Diablo 3 will release on April 1. It’s definitely a joke.

100,000 beta keys sent out

Blizzard has sent out beta keys to 100,000 players. The twist? It’s only players based in North America.

By that, we can surmise they are probably testing their infrastructure (and the new servers are ready only in the USA).

Of course, Diablo 3′s EU forum is full with “why not us” comments but Blizzard is a US company, so it’s easy to see why they are moving first on their home turf.

Anyway, hopefully they’ll need to test the EU infrastructure as well soon!

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