At launch the problem was Error 37 and other related “always online” issues.
Then it was how the gold auction house was killing the game, something I first brought up in May of last year but which Blizzard, in the form of Jay Wilson, was still professing amazement about 10 months later. And then there was the recent auction house burp, which shut it down for several days.
Now, even as Blizzard is patting itself on the back on the one year anniversary of the game, there is an article out there with the title, A Virtual Weimar: Hyperinflation in a Video Game World, which discusses the impact of the the Diablo III real money auction house on the game over the last year.
Being compared as a parallel to Weimar German and the great inflation… that is never a good thing. I think even Greece has only been held up against the Weimar Republic to show that the situation in Greece isn’t as bad as it could be.
And it all seems to fall back to something Edward Castronova said, a while back:
Being an elf doesn’t make you turn off the rational economic calculator part of your brain.
And when real money is part of the mix…
So what else can go wrong, aside from Blizzard having no backup plan and no content expansion ready in the foreseeable future?
Hat tip to Edward Catronova for spotting the story.