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

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

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

image

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."

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

Permalink

Got to hand it to him, he's one smart cookie.

This is very interesting indeed. He sounds pretty smart too so I wouldn't be surprised if this is true.

I've been thinking of getting Diablo III lately, but not really because of the auction house. Is the game good or worth it? (besides the DRM of course lol)

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.

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

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

Worgen:
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.

What tricks? Just buy low, sell high and play everyone for suckers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Good for him, managed to make money whilst having fun in a game he enjoys.

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.

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?

Waaghpowa:
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.

Hashbrick:
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.

Greg Tito:

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.

Waaghpowa:

Hashbrick:
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.

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.

And this is what I should have done...

But I didn't want to get Diablo 3. It just didn't interest me. x_x

Perhaps WishboneTheDog should play EvE...

denseWorm:
Perhaps WishboneTheDog should play EvE...

I agree. He could become the richest player ever to be banned from the game.

I kinda experienced that myself. Though, i despise our "real-world" capitalistic economics, considering it as a broken part of our social system which turned against it's means of supporting social life, i got interested in understanding the structures of economics as well and find it remarkable how they get reproduced in game-environments. Now, i haven't actually made "real" money out of that, considering my disposition against the matter and that fun in games is something else for me, but at the same time, proper trading as part of a game became appealing to me and often the money i'm not spending, while constantly growing by trading in a game where you could invest real money, has a wicked satisfaction.

Also, i bet Blizz is rather gratefull for that, either if it's just a claim or true, they'll get their share out of it. Won't make to much of a difference on their pile of money, but what counts for them are the growing numbers.

So, basically, if you put the hours of sweat shop and turn a fun game into a monotonous slog for half a year, you can make some decent money for a few months with no insurance of ever getting that money again.

Or... You could get a job.

I don't see how a random number generated on a server has a value outside of that virtual world, in which it has a use.
Also, what's the point of buying the best items? Once you get the best items, you have nothing more to do in the game.

Mr.K.:
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?

Amazing how you drones missed this.

Quoting because none of you have a clue.

I like that Neopets was brought into this. Neopets is actually a really good simulator for learning how harsh a trade based society is, the ways to survive in it and how one might properly go about becoming a total dick.

I wonder if I ever traded with this guy back in the days when I played Neopets.

Doom972:
I don't see how a random number generated on a server has a value outside of that virtual world, in which it has a use.
Also, what's the point of buying the best items? Once you get the best items, you have nothing more to do in the game.

It may be better to keep your point of view, maybe you even know the answers to your questions, but i'll try to put it together and clarify a bit.
On your first point: At first, it may only be a random generated number, but ingame, this number becomes an item, which has clear ingame use, in some way a resource and thereby becomes desireable by players, of whom in return, given the opportunity, some are willing to pay for to recieve, just as you are willing to pay to recieve a copy of a game. This may not seem an obvious simile, considering the game had production costs and such, but it if you think it through, it is, considering to receife the item, due to the mechanics of the game, there was effort needed, just as were when making the game. Thereby the random number-> item gets value. Now second, you question why anyone would want to buy the best item, considering this is kind of the goal of this game. Now this is rather simple psychology. As the game sets the goal of always becoming stronger, every step potentially getting you closer to that goal will probably make you feel like you achieved something, give you satisfaction, thereby every single step becomes desirable and for some this includes buying better items. Considering you can never be sure you have the best items ever and the game lets you experience non-linear satisfaction, it stays desirable (Skinner box experiment proved it). It may even be enough to just have an item, as is enriches their "ingame-wealth", which may be desirable for some by itself.

And if you still question how this virtual world resembles to our "real world", think about it, cause this is actually part of our current economy, considering our (the societies) ideology of money and wealth in numbers already surpassed the actual values of whatever you might consider that matters, be it to provide basic needs, or happiness, or whatever. Not everyone may agree with me, some claim that the bigger financial and bank institutes still monitor the currency and transition from resources to money, but i think, that the biggest part of our economy consists of actually trading with virtual goods, shoving numbers around, which in reality represent nothing, neither anything that matters, nor of matter.

The only real effect of this is an increasing social inequality, what isn't only effecting statistical numbers, but real peoples lifes.

And here we came from D3 Items to economy in a nutshell.

Soak:

Doom972:
I don't see how a random number generated on a server has a value outside of that virtual world, in which it has a use.
Also, what's the point of buying the best items? Once you get the best items, you have nothing more to do in the game.

It may be better to keep your point of view, maybe you even know the answers to your questions, but i'll try to put it together and clarify a bit.
On your first point: At first, it may only be a random generated number, but ingame, this number becomes an item, which has clear ingame use, in some way a resource and thereby becomes desireable by players, of whom in return, given the opportunity, some are willing to pay for to recieve, just as you are willing to pay to recieve a copy of a game. This may not seem an obvious simile, considering the game had production costs and such, but it if you think it through, it is, considering to receife the item, due to the mechanics of the game, there was effort needed, just as were when making the game. Thereby the random number-> item gets value. Now second, you question why anyone would want to buy the best item, considering this is kind of the goal of this game. Now this is rather simple psychology. As the game sets the goal of always becoming stronger, every step potentially getting you closer to that goal will probably make you feel like you achieved something, give you satisfaction, thereby every single step becomes desirable and for some this includes buying better items. Considering you can never be sure you have the best items ever and the game lets you experience non-linear satisfaction, it stays desirable (Skinner box experiment proved it). It may even be enough to just have an item, as is enriches their "ingame-wealth", which may be desirable for some by itself.

And if you still question how this virtual world resembles to our "real world", think about it, cause this is actually part of our current economy, considering our (the societies) ideology of money and wealth in numbers already surpassed the actual values of whatever you might consider that matters, be it to provide basic needs, or happiness, or whatever. Not everyone may agree with me, some claim that the bigger financial and bank institutes still monitor the currency and transition from resources to money, but i think, that the biggest part of our economy consists of actually trading with virtual goods, shoving numbers around, which in reality represent nothing, neither anything that matters, nor of matter.

The only real effect of this is an increasing social inequality, what isn't only effecting statistical numbers, but real peoples lifes.

And here we came from D3 Items to economy in a nutshell.

My point still holds - the "items" (randomly generated numbers) are given in Diablo 3 and are only useful there. Same goes for in-game currency. You can get the exact same items without spending any money if you just trade your unwanted powerful items (or extra in-game currency) for wanted powerful items with other people. This way you can immerse yourself within the virtual world instead of basically paying someone with real world money for farming items.

I appreciate the detailed explanation regardless.

Ragsnstitches:
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.

Yeah this. I can't wait for the headline "Man tortures another man for his Blizzard Account to make thousands off of his rare items. Also games lead to violence trolololololololol."

Ok that isn't what you meant, but I just can't wait to see if Blizzard was actually pulling strings somehow and gave him that money as a way of getting the greatest free marketing that comes with the promise of money to those who buy the product.

I suspect there could well be more to this then meets the eye, too. How likely is it that Blizzard orchestrated such a news article for advertisement? Reasonably.

Jove:
This is very interesting indeed. He sounds pretty smart too so I wouldn't be surprised if this is true.

I've been thinking of getting Diablo III lately, but not really because of the auction house. Is the game good or worth it? (besides the DRM of course lol)

To be honest? Not that much. Depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking to play for a very long time, you might get disappointed. I made one character, played about 50-60 hours with it, and I haven't been on since. I don't know, I just got turned off by it. Maybe because you have to keep going through difficulties to level your character properly. First on Normal,then Nightmare, then Hell, and if you're good, Inferno. It just gets boring after a while. Plus, if you're not planning on flipping through Auction House, in which case you might have to at some points, or else your game will advance slower, then you have to farm over and over and over again to get a decent item to get past a checkpoint. Overall, the game isn't worth $60. $40 tops. It was good while it lasted, but now, no one I know plays it anymore, and they hate it. Lol. I liked the original release. I picked it up 3 days after launch, because I just knew servers would overload. It's what they did after with patches that completely got rid of my fun.

OT: Good for him. If he's having fun doing it, why not?

He sounds smart and it was only a matter of time till somone did this. I can see him living off it.

It was inevitable.

Here's a blog from some other guy who claims he's made thousands of dollars and even documents his businesses. He also writes it with a Cracked.com style:
http://diabloshit.blogspot.com/

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here