In a flurry of alliteration, Blizzard's Battle.net Balance has finally been unleashed. The service allows gamers to add funds to their account using online transaction services such as PayPal, and it's being tested in the Diablo III beta. The account also gives gamers somewhere to store hard-earned cash accumulated in Diablo III's auction house.
The big question is whether or not gamers will be able to withdraw funds from their Battle.net Balances into the real world. According to Blizzard's FAQ , this will be allowed “in certain regions”, but a fee will be charged. It's also optional in Diablo III's auction house, so you can still purchase items via traditional methods like PayPay and credit cards. Blizzard states that standard auction house fees will be applied to transactions regardless of where they've come from.
On top of these rules and regulations are a couple more bits of small, but important, small print. Firstly, there's a limit on how much you can have in your account at any one time, but Blizzard hasn't confirmed how much this will be yet. Secondly, if you haven't accessed your account for more than three years Blizzard will be able to recoup the money in there, depending on local laws and regulations.
Blizzard does seem to be toeing the line when it comes to the UK's regulations on distance selling and online auctions, but virtual goods are a bit of a grey area. We're sure Blizzard's lawyers have dotted the Is and crossed the Ts for the new service - but could you see yourself using it?