The developer behind video game Diablo 3 has announced it is to get rid of auction houses, acknowledging the ability to trade items "undermines" gameplay.
Players of the horror fantasy world-based game can buy and sell objects they find in the title using real currency or in-game gold, with developer Blizzard taking a cut of any real-world cash transactions.
Despite this providing an extra source of revenue for the company, it has now acknowledged the facility 'undermines' the challenge of the game
As a result, Blizzard will shut down the auction houses on March 18, 2014 - the date decided upon to give users a chance to adjust.
Josh Mosqueira, game director for Diablo 3, said: "We firmly believe that by shutting down the real-money and the gold auction houses, it really paves the way to make sure that killing monsters in-game is the most rewarding, the most satisfying, the most compelling way of getting your hands on those items."
While the move may prove popular with gamers, some users complained on the company's forums, because it makes their virtual possessions worthless outside of the game.
While gamers have often traded game items with each other for money, Diablo 3 marked a sea-change, with the often banned trades now being legitimised and gamers given the chance to conduct them inside the game.