One of the more controversial aspects of the Diablo III game was the auction hall, where players could trade and sell items for either real money or in-game gold. It was only implemented on the PC and Mac versions of the game, and did not make the jump to the console. Now Blizzard is closing the auction hall for good, sending out the following note to Diablo III players.
"When we initially designed and implemented the auction house system, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But after much review and player feedback, 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.
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. Please note that the final shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process, and stay tuned to Diablo 3.com for further details."