Real-Money Profit from Diablo's Fake-Money Exploit Going to Charity

The illicit, real-money profits made from a gold-duplicating bug in Diablo III have been confiscated and will be given to charity, the game's publisher said yesterday. Blizzard says that just 415 players—all of whom have been sanctioned—used the exploit in this way.

Earlier this week, a glitch in Diablo III's latest patch update allowed players to multiply the in-world gold held by their account. Trillions of dupe gold flowed into the Diablo economy, threatening to destroy it. Some were able to use it for profit in the game's real-money auction houses, which were taken offline for about five days.

John Hight, the game's production director, explained yesterday how Diablo was fixing the mess. Those who exploited the glitch for personal gain either were banned outright or had their accounts reverted to their state before the glitch-bearing patch rolled out—losing all progression since then. Blizzard said it has identified and intercepted Auction House transactions based on the exploit and will be donating all of the proceeds to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Legitimate transactions will remain unaffected.

Despite the massive amounts of gold dumped into the game's virtual economy (85 percent of which has been recovered and eliminated, said Hight), Blizzard decided against a comprehensive server rollback in North America. "A rollback would mean bringing the servers down for a lengthy period and a loss of all progression since [patch] 1.0.8 was released," Hight wrote. "Many players made significant accomplishments in the game that required time and dedication, and we felt it was worth the work involved to try to preserve these efforts and go after the exploiters instead."

Auction Houses Up and Running [Battle.net]