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Diablo 3's controversial Auction House finally goes offline

Closed for business.

Closed for business.

Diablo 3's controversial Auction House today goes offline.

Right now you're able to click the Auction House button from the main Diablo 3 menu, but you can't bid, buyout or list new auctions in the gold and real-money auction houses.

Essentially, the Auction House is now a clearing house for existing auctions.

A note at the bottom of the window reads: "The Auction House is shutting down. You must claim your items from the Completed tab by 6/24. Existing auctions will complete based on the time remaining."

So, what happens now? All active auctions will expire as normal following the shutdown of the gold and real-money auction houses today. Items will be either delivered to the current highest bidder or returned to the seller, appearing in each player's Completed tab.

Unclaimed gold will also appear in the Completed tab. Players will be able to claim gold and items and from this tab until 24th June, Blizzard said. "Items and gold not claimed by this date will be consumed by Treasure Goblins, never to be seen again." Successful transactions involving Battle.net Balance and/or PayPal will be processed normally and all usual fees will apply.

Expect the auction house window to stick around for all players until 24th June.

Last year, when Blizzard announced its plan to shut down the Auction House, it said it had undermined Diablo's core gameplay.

"It became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the Auction House system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core gameplay: kill monsters to get cool loot," explained Diablo 3's upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion production director John Hight.

Expansion Reaper of Souls launches next week.