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Blizzard to donate illicit proceeds from ‘Diablo 3’ auction house bug to charity

diablo3Recently, players in Diablo III discovered an exploit that allowed players to duplicate gold. Blizzard was quick to fix this bug, but not before several illicit transactions were completed. Now that Blizzard has had a chance to figure out what happened, Diablo III Production Direction John Hight announced that all the illicit proceeds will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

No word on the total dollar amount yet, however, as Blizzard appears to still be parsing through transactions made during the period the bug was active in order to determine which were legitimate and which took advantage of the exploit.

The auction house bug, which allowed particularly rich players to duplicate gold, popped up last Tuesday after the release of Diablo III‘s 1.0.8 patch. Blizzard was forced to shut down the game’s real money auction house shortly afterward. The bug was quickly resolved, and the auction house was re-opened over the weekend. The small number of players (415, Blizzard reports) found to have been abusing it were suspended or banned. The money they accrued will be donated to the network of children’s hospitals. 

Hight writes that Blizzard considered rolling the game back to a pre-patch state, erasing hours of progress for cheaters and legitimate players alike, but thought better of it in the end. 

“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,” Hight wrote. “With this in mind, we elected not to roll back the servers in The Americas and are instead working to remove duplicated gold from the economy through targeted audits and account actions (as indicated above) without taking away progress that our players rightfully earned.”

As of Saturday, 85-percent of the illicitly duplicated gold had been recovered.