Man Claims He's Made $10,000 Off Diablo III

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Man Claims He's Made $10,000 Off Diablo III



A gamer disclosed on Reddit how he uses the Real Money Auction House for fun and profit.

The Diablo III auction house has become a source of controversy for some gamers who don't want the real world infecting their escapist entertainment. But for others who treat buying low and selling high as just another game, Diablo III has become a source of a real income. One such gamer - going by the name WishboneTheDog on Reddit - said he's made more than $10,000 US dollars trading on the auction house, offered a few shots of his PayPal account as proof, and was nice enough to hold a brief AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) to discuss how he's done it.

"One of my favorite parts of gaming has been the economics of the item markets since I started trading in Neopets ten years ago," said WishboneTheDog. "It is what first got me interested in economics, and I am now studying business at a good university."

Wishbone earned every penny the hard way, through playing the game and searching the auction house manually for deals. "I have never botted, scammed, used any of the number of exploits, or cheated in any way whatsoever," he said. "Before this game, I never made any money off of what I did because it was against the rules. Investing and trading in the item markets is part of how I have my fun, it wouldn't make sense for me to cheat."

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He even intends to pay taxes on his income. "I plan on reporting this and paying the tax on it, partly because of my relationship with taxes so far in my life," wrote Wishbone. "I disagree with a lot of tax policy, but I'll fight the policy when I have a voice that people will listen to, not by trying to avoid taxes. I'm thankful I have been as successful as I have been. It feels right to pay taxes on this, especially because it is a significant amount."

Wishbone also explains rather succinctly how Diablo III gold isn't that much different than real currency. "People think that paying 'real money' in a videogame is a huge leap from paying in gold or from grinding for an item. What people don't realize is that currencies are only a numerical representation of value," he said. "As soon as there is a collective demand for goods, both virtual and 'real,' value is created. Humans developed currencies to represent this value in a tangible way, and to make the exchange of these goods more liquid.

"[Diablo III] gold is like a foreign currency. It represents value, but only within the specific game world," he said.

Whether or not you pay real money for items in Diablo III's auction house, it's nice to hear someone discuss the economics with honesty and the desire to educate. If you're interested, head over to Wishbone's AMAA to learn more. But be warned, he doesn't give away any trading tricks. That's how he keeps his $10,000 business booming.

Source: Reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/xqv2r/ive_made_10000_legitimately_from_the_d3_market/]

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Ragsnstitches

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Dec 2, 2009
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This is one of those things were you go "Hmmm that's pretty interesting" but at the same time are like "Nope, don't want any part in it".

I believe it when he says he's not exploiting or doing anything wrong. But I'm still, deep down, feeling like something foul is underfoot.

EDIT: Not by him I mean. He's playing things fairly. I just can't shake the feeling we'll see a negative side to this not too far off into the future.
 

Baldr

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if my calculations are correct to reach $10,000 he would have to sell around 5 billion gold.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Ugh, this is so retarded. Why the hell would anyone buy loot in a game where getting loot is the biggest motivation?
 

Ragsnstitches

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Worgen said:
Ugh, this is so retarded. Why the hell would anyone buy loot in a game where getting loot is the biggest motivation?
As the guy said above, the actual economy in the game can become the game itself. It's same reason why collectors might trade rarities to get something they were looking for but could never find. Even if that trade is huge amounts of money.
 

Noble_Lance

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When I heard about the real auction house I thought about doing what he did. Then I got through a playthrough and a half and I was like. No, I'd kill myself if I went that serious, I'd need friends to even attempt constant runs.
 

Scarim Coral

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Geez, it really does pay to be a businessman who knows economics (and stocks I guess) all too well. It make me wonder if he also dabble in autionhouse games like WoW.
 

Jennacide

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This isn't surprising in the least, as my brother sold his gear off when he got infuriated with the game and made just under $2k. Most of his gear went for the cap of $250. It's crazy what people are/were paying for gear in that game, considering there is zero endgame or pvp.

But it does illustrate a disturbing trend of monetizing games that have little actual reason to be, simply because there are people that will do it. If only Blizzard spent half the time making the RMAH and put it to adding more content to the game.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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It's basic economics really. When you have the economics part figured out all you need is the will and time to do it. He thinks it's fun, more power to him.
 

Waaghpowa

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I know a gut from work who somehow manages to sell things on the Diablo RMAH as well. He's made so much money, he's had to make purchases from Battlenet just to keep his balance from maxing out before he can transfer funds. Just talking to him at work he gets emails notifying him of sales on his cell. Really all it takes is dedication to play the game all the time as well as some luck that some people are actually dumb enough to spend money on these items.
 

Smooth Operator

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Wow I haven't seen a message like this since the days forums went unmoderated, "Hey guys I discovered how to get rich by doing nothing at all, click this not at all suspicious link now!"

If someone dug into this, they wouldn't by any chance find that this very trustworthy enthusiastic young man works in the Blizzard PR department?
 

Hashbrick

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Waaghpowa said:
I know a gut from work who somehow manages to sell things on the Diablo RMAH as well. He's made so much money, he's had to make purchases from Battlenet just to keep his balance from maxing out before he can transfer funds. Just talking to him at work he gets emails notifying him of sales on his cell. Really all it takes is dedication to play the game all the time as well as some luck that some people are actually dumb enough to spend money on these items.
Well that's funny since you can't transfer funds from a battlenet wallet to real cash, only the option straight to paypal with a 15% fee.

The people that use the RMAH are rich. Think of it as a way of making the richer poorer and the poorer richer. I'm sure they are laughing at the fact they paid $2k for gear that makes the game challenge-less and to showcase their elite chars. All they want to do is become an internet badass because they are such dickheads in the real world that they have no friends.
 

Waaghpowa

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Hashbrick said:
Well that's funny since you can't transfer funds from a battlenet wallet to real cash, only the option straight to paypal with a 15% fee.
You can transfer to paypal and transfer to a linked bank account. I have no idea what you're getting at.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Greg Tito said:
He even intends to pay taxes on his income. "I plan on reporting this and paying the tax on it, partly because of my relationship with taxes so far in my life," wrote Wishbone. "I disagree with a lot of tax policy, but I'll fight the policy when I have a voice that people will listen to, not by trying to avoid taxes. I'm thankful I have been as successful as I have been. It feels right to pay taxes on this, especially because it is a significant amount."
And everyone's so busy talking about spending money on virtual items that they missed this little gem. THAT is how you oppose a law, people. "I'll abide by it because I don't want to go to jail/pay fines/etc, but I don't like it". It always amazes me how people will just pick and choose which laws they like, ignore the rest, then throw a fit when they get arrested like they didn't realize that simply not liking a law makes it okay to break it. I'm sorry, but when you're in cuffs being dragged off by the police, it is not the time to start ranting and raving about how it's wrong that you're being arrested for what you did. And no, going to jail "on principle" of the fact that you did "nothing wrong" isn't going to send any kind of message except "Wow, this guy really has no grasp of how law works".

Edit: Anyway, Diablo III has been how for what... 4 months? The RMAH for maybe 3? If he can keep up with that same pace, that's a good $40,000 per year. Still, it'd be foolish to rely on it as the primary source of income since there's no telling when people will just up and lose interest in D3, though at the same time I guess that the whole reason the RMAH is there is because D2 items were profitable even a decade after release. Either way, being able to pull-in $40k per year for doing something you find entertaining? That's awesome no matter how you slice it.
 

Hashbrick

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Waaghpowa said:
Hashbrick said:
Well that's funny since you can't transfer funds from a battlenet wallet to real cash, only the option straight to paypal with a 15% fee.
You can transfer to paypal and transfer to a linked bank account. I have no idea what you're getting at.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/game/guide/items/auction-house#selling

#4

If you?re auctioning your item in the real-money auction house, use the drop-down to choose how to receive the proceeds of your auction if it succeeds. Choosing Battle.net Balance will send the proceeds to Battle.net Balance on your Battle.net account, to be used on future real-money auction house purchases or select Blizzard Entertainment? digital products on Battle.net. In certain regions, if a PayPal? account is linked to your Battle.net account and you?ve enabled Battle.net SMS Protect on your Battle.net account (see below), you can have the proceeds sent to your PayPal account (a 15% transfer fee applies if you choose this method, calculated based on the amount being transferred). For further details, check out the FAQ.

Important: You can?t change which method to use once your auction has been created, so choose carefully!
End story you can't transfer your cash if you already sent it to the your wallet only can trade it for digital items. So the story about keeping the balance down on the wallet to make transfers is complete and utter bullshit.
 

deathninja

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Dec 19, 2008
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Find a market, identify an opening, buy low, sell high.

Sounds simple, but Economics are a lot harder than that (from what Econ friends tell me, as a statistician (among other hats) I'm just on the periphery).

If he's taken the time and effort to do that, then more power to him.