Diablo III’s “Real Money Auction House” was recently taken offline following an exploit that allowed players to duplicate their in-game gold, which could be translated to real-world money. Many expected Blizzard to make the problem go away by rolling back accounts to a time before the glitch occurred – but instead, they’ve taken to analysing accounts, and will be giving the ill-gotten gains to charity.
Speaking on the Battle.net forums (via Polygon), Diablo 3 production director John Hight said that while that action was considered, they instead decided against it – so as to not affect those who’ve legitimately earned their gold.
“We elected not to roll back the servers in The Americas and are instead working to remove duplicated gold from the economy through targeted audits and account actions without taking away progress that our players rightfully earned,” he said.
“As of this this post, we have already recaptured more than 85% of the excess gold from the accounts involved, and over the days ahead we will continue to pore over our audit data to reclaim as much duplicate currency as possible”
They could have left it there, but they’ll be giving all illicitly gained money to charity.
“Many people bought and sold items and gold on the Auction House on Tuesday. We’re making sure that all legitimate transactions go through. This means that if your account was not involved in the exploit, you will get to keep your items and gold, as well as any money you received from sales on the real-money Auction House,” Hight said.
“We’ll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players – including all of their sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee – to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”
According to Hight, only a small number of players abused the exploit , and those who have dabbled with the exploit though can expect to be on the receiving end of a a rollback, or worse, a ban - and while this is a nice way to turn it around, it still doesn’t quite sit right with me that people could be banned from what’s essentially a single-player game.
The Auction House was reinstated on Friday evening.
Last Updated: May 13, 2013