This shutdown has been a long time in coming and follows the launch of Loot 2.0 and the new 'Smart Loot' system, which dramatically overhauled drop rates and gear stats.
The studio realised the terrible impact the auction house had upon the action RPG, which has always been about steamrolling through Acts to hoover up loot.
The trouble with the auction house, both gold and real-money, was that you didn't really need to bother going on loot grinds because you could just buy far superior gear whenever you felt like it. It killed much of what makes the series so addictive, but nowhas addressed many of the problems in the run up to Reaper of Souls, which releases March 25th.
More information about the auction house shutdown is available in the.