Blizzard will close the Auction House on March 18th, 2014.
This afternoon, Blizzard announced that the Diablo III Auction House will close in six months, on March 18th, 2014. Blizzard acknowledges the Auction House ultimately "undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot." Josh Mosqueira, Diablo III's Game Director, describes the AH as having "short-circuited (their) core reward-loop." John Hight, Production Director, clarifies that the shutdown will include both the real money and gold transactions.
The move to close the Auction House is part of a bigger overhaul called "Loot 2.0", an extensive effort to remedy player complaints against the item system. Specifically, Loot 2.0 will aim to have "less, better, more epic items," to address concerns of diluted item rarity. It's unclear whether this patch will appear before Reaper of Souls, the 2014 expansion revealed last month at Gamescom. In a Battle.net post, Lylirra hints Loot 2.0 could happen as early as "Winter" – with more official details likely during BlizzCon this November.
Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey