rigwarl wrote:I don't see how the cash auction house is worse than people selling D2 items on Ebay.
Well, Blizzard charges you a flat fee to list the item.
Then they take a cut out of the price you sell it for
Then they take a cut for cashing out
Then their third party payment system takes a cut for cashing out.
I get that they want to make money off it, but that's just a tad... excessive. I get the feeling the only one that will be making money in the auction house is Blizzard.
And players that decide to put their proceeds into their Bnet account instead of real-world cash. Notice that two of the four cuts apply only
if you try to cash out - they don't apply if you have it set to go directly to your Bnet account.
Honestly, I like this kind of system. There's been mention of a leaked "Map Market" thing for SC2, and by just putting your proceeds directly into your account, you could sell excess crap in D3 to buy maps in SC2... or, if you play WoW, you could pretty easily pay your WoW subscription (and, who knows? Maybe even extra services) by selling D3 items. I like that idea, actually.
EDIT: Some extrapolation:
Let's say that, on a cash transaction, Blizzard takes a pure 60% cut, divided between the AH fees and cash transaction fees and whatever - 60% of the sale goes right to Blizzard. The other 40% goes into your Battle.net account, which can then be spent on other Battle.net-related things - subscriptions, maps, name changes, whatever.
Now, let's say the third-party provider (almost certainly gonna be PayPal, but we'll see I guess) takes an additional 20% if you choose to cash out. So that means Blizzard gets 60%, PayPal gets 20%, and you get 20%.
Now, figure an average item selling for $3.00 and Blizzard picks up $1.80 no matter what. If you go for the Battle.net account option, Blizzard technically gets all $3.00 of it - sure, it's "your" money, but it can ONLY be spent on Blizzard products and services, so realistically speaking, it's Blizzard's
money and they're just letting you use it. Blizzard, in the end, gets 100%
of the transaction if it's done via Battle.net account deposit. Hell, you'll probably be allowed to use the cash to buy other cash items from the AH, so Blizzard will still
get well over their 60% cut since I'd imagine a lot of players will likely just do the Battle.net account option - I know I probably will.
If you choose the cash out route, Blizzard still gets their $1.60, PayPal gets $0.60, and the player only gets $0.60. I mean, hey, it's still sixty cents... but that's barely enough for a 32oz drink at a QT during the summer sale. Sell about 8 of those items and you could treat yourself to Taco Bell. So you can see that, even if they give players 20% of the cut (which, honestly, seems a bit generous to me), actually making money off of this system would pretty much be a no-go. I can make more money in a week donating plasma than I could make in a month selling items, unless items are going to sell for more than I expect them to, and if the player's cut is larger than I expect.
I imagine D3 cash items will end up functioning very similarly to, say, the prices on Magic cards. You might have a couple of game-breaking items that also qualify as bank-breaking items (before it was banned, I believe Jace, The Mind-Sculptor was worth something ridiculous like $80 apiece), but most items will probably end up being fairly cheap - after all, you're trying to convince people to shell out real money instead of in-game gold, and for most folks that crosses a pretty significant line. Drop 20,000 gold on Stone of Jordan 3.0, what the fuck ever. Drop $20 on that same item? Well, now you're speaking a different language; you can't pay rent with Diablo 3 gold. I'd be very surprised if the average item went for more than, say, $5 on the top end. Again, there will be exceptions, but I don't see costs even reaching double digits on average.
I really have to admire the business people at Blizzard for thinking this sort of thing up. It's a transparent way to make a lot
of money without really doing anything but providing the framework, and it only gets better the more those players play your games. Say Blizzard starts making quality custom maps, along the lines of StarJeweled and the like, and sells them in a map market. You still have WoW - its subscription fees, special services, hell maybe even the special pets and mounts in the store - and before long you'll also see Titan and its related stuff popping up. That's a lot of things for players to spend money on, and Blizzard could end up making a pretty decent buck if they play it right, and without having to take the risk of a "free to play" approach.