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Blizzard ban “several thousand” Diablo 3 players as real-money auction house launches


The real-money auction house shuddered into life in the US today, turning Diablo 3’s item trading quasi-bazaar into a serious economic cashpipe. But that wasn’t before Blizzard initiated a round of account bans affecting “several thousand” players accused of using bots and hacks, clearing out the sort of ne’er-do-wells you wouldn’t trust around real money.

The bans come after widespread reports of item duplication, which have been acknowledged by Blizzard, as well as reports of gold duping, which have not. It’s this item duping exploit that has allegedly caused fake-money auction house prices to skyrocket in precisely the way a real-money auction house shouldn’t. Hotfixes and bans all round, then.

“We recently issued a round of account suspensions and bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were in violation of the Battle.net Terms of Use for cheating and/or using botting or hacking programs while playing,” the statement from Diablo 3’s community manager reads. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair play that’s essential to everyone’s enjoyment of the game, botting, hacking, and other such exploitive behavior can contribute to stability and performance issues with the Battle.net service. As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and fun online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we’ll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed.”
Time, and the global launch of the real-money auction house,will tell us whetherclearing house has paved the way for a stable Diablo 3economy, one in which our fine magic pants are inflation-proof.