Diablo 3 Real-Money Auction House opens in Americas region

By Frank Lewis,
Blizzard activates what is arguably the most lucrative market for real-money item sales -- and what could be Diablo 3 currency sellers' biggest threat.

RMT sellers with accounts for the Americas game region - consisting of North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia - can now start using real-money auction house (RMAH) to peddle their rarest items and possibly earn up to hundreds of dollars per transaction.

So far, only equipment such as weapons and armor will be allowed on the RMAH. Commodities trading will be implemented "as soon as possible" as Blizzard spends extra development time to ensure it is "quick, stable and reliable."

Few Reminders for RMT Sellers Starting Their RMAH Operations
RMT sellers who plan to engage in RMAH selling will need to remember a few things.

First, real-money auction houses are strictly restricted to an account's home game region. This means Americas region accounts can only purchase real-money items from other Americas accounts. Europe or Asia game accounts cannot sell their items to the Americas accounts. So any RMT seller who hopes to tap into the aggressive Americas market needs to build their item farming operations on Americas accounts.

But the effort is bound to pay off handsomely. Neoseeker reports that single-item bids are climbing to as much as $200 for the rarest legendary equipment. Of course you'll need to subtract the Blizzard cut from the sale. Demand for legendary equipment is expected to ramp up even more when it gets a power boost, as we predicted in our last post, so prices could trend even higher.

But the average item on Diablo 3 RMAH seems to be going for $30 to $40, which is not something to scoff at, given that high-spending Americas players are known to purchase multiple items at a time.

Negative Impact of RMAH on Diablo 3 Gold
How will the RMAH affect the demand for Diablo 3 Gold? Given the current set-up, RMAH competes with the gold auction house. Americas region players who used to directly purchase from the gold auction house can now visit the RMAH instead and purchase items straight with cash. Such a switch could seriously hurt the demand for the currency.

One thing is clear: RMT sellers who are running dual operations - both selling Diablo 3 Gold and selling items directly on the RMAH - will be better positioned than pure currency sellers, who might have no choice but to take any incoming price hits.

diablo 3 in-game currency prices are already on a crash-dive path since its post-launch high of $160 per 600,000 Gold. Whether the RMAH opening deals a permanent death knell to Diablo 3 Gold selling, we'll only know after a few weeks of observation. Stay tuned and we'll keep you in the loop.

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