I just learned about Diablo 3 Real Money Auction house and I wonder how much money could I expect to gain from selling item on it.
More precisely, Is it reasonable to expect to retrieve my initial investment for buying the game?
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This question is ultimately down to how much you play, there are already answers both for and against you making back the cost of Diablo 3 on this question.
The truth is that if you play very little then NO - it is unlikely you will make your money back. However over time you may get lucky with individual drops that you may wish to sell on the auction house. It's not possible to give a definitive answer against making your money back.
If you play frequently then YES it is perfectly reasonable that you will make back the cost of the game. I personally have already made mine back and I know many others who have as well but this is from the point of view of having played for 300+ hours in a little over a month since Diablo 3 was released.
This all basically comes down to how long it takes you to get to the 'Inferno' difficulty, and how frequently you play the game within this difficulty. Once you get further into inferno difficulty (Act 2+) about 5% of the items that drop on average will be of a quality that people are looking for when they're willing to spend real money. The method that I have used is selling lots of items at low prices, but in contrast to this others have made the full cost of the game back in a single transaction.
The other thing to bare in mind, is that as more players get into this difficulty, the value of the market will begin to decrease over time as more items will become available to more players - again further demonstrating the inability to give a definitive answer to this question.
No, I don't think it is reasonable to go into playing Diablo 3 with that assumption. There are currently too many unknowns to be able to reasonably say whether or not that will be the case, for example:
As it is an in-game facility, it can't be compared to D2 to get a historic idea of prices. Only dedicated players bought and sold in D2, whereas anyone can sell (and buy) in D3.
This answer will obviously change in time, as we know more about the unknowns above.
Yes you can, but are you willing to invest the time?
Once you can farm inferno well, it's only a matter of time and luck before you find something that will bring the big bucks. Unfortunately this usually entails a 200-300 hours of play time, and tens of millions of G spent on items.
I wouldn't expect to make the money back for a few months or even a year if your a casual player, but if you stick with it, you can definitely find gear in inferno that will compensate the initial cost. Just don't expect to be making an income off of the RMAH.
Of course, this was for the initial surge of the RMAH where prices were unknown for buyers.
However, there is obviously a market for high quality (ilevel 61+) items:
Since one good item can easily sell for the maximum of $250, that is over 4 times the initial "investment" in the game. However, even the modest seller can rack up $60 worth of gear with lucky Inferno-level drops.