Inboard's electric scooters will only be available for shared fleets


Last fall, electric skateboard startup Inboard Technology announced plans for its first electric scooter. Dubbed the Glider, consumers could pre-order the device with a $349 deposit placed toward the $1,299 price tag. Now, according to The Verge, Inboard is backing off of plans for a consumer version of the Glider and is refunding the 1,500 people who put down deposits on the new ride. Instead, Inboard plans to focus on making electric scooters for shared fleets.

As part of the change, Inboard plans to announce a partnership with a transportation company later this year, though it hasn’t given an indication who that partner will be. The company also intends to make its scooters available in small fleets that could be available at hotels, resorts, campuses and business parks.

As for as the Glider itself, it will remain essentially the same, though it is getting a slight tweak to its name and will be known as the G1 Glider. The device will still offer top speeds of 22 miles per hour and 12-mile battery life, along with the 8.1-inch wide deck and large tires that set it apart from most other electric scooters.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Link to original source

Activision offers 'Guitar Hero Live' refunds after songs vanish

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Activision/Guitar Hero Live

Activision appears to be learning a hard lesson about the risks of tying a music game to a subscription service. The publisher has launched a “voluntary refund program” for Americans who can prove they bought Guitar Hero Live between December 1st, 2017 and January 1st, 2019. You can make a claim until May 1st, 2019. While Activision didn’t say why it was offering refunds, it’s likely tied to the end of the game’s Guitar Hero TV streaming music service. The company shut down GHL‘s streaming component at the end of 2018, shrinking the song library from 484 songs to the 42 tracks on the disc — you suddenly weren’t getting what you paid for.

As Polygon noted, the refund page surfaced just a couple of weeks after a plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit accusing Activision of false advertising. Robert Fishel bought GHL two years after its 2015 debut, only to find out that Activision was wiping out his ability to use the “vast majority” of the game’s songs. Although there’s nothing official, the refund page is intended to avoid future lawsuits from Fishel (who’s allowed to sue again) and other customers.

The program underscores a common problem with games that depend on internet services beyond multiplayer play: if the required service goes down, the core game breaks. Moreover, companies don’t usually make a public commitment to running those services for a minimum amount of time. Gamers don’t know when the lights will shut off and leave them with a fraction of the game they once had.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Link to original source

Epic's updated game store refund policy matches Steam

Chesnot/Getty Images

The Epic Games Store wasn’t all that refund-friendly on launch. You could only ask for two refunds in an entire year (albeit after unlimited hours of play), and you had to submit details like your IP address in a support ticket to have a hope of getting your money back. It should be easier from now on, at least. According to Epic’s Sergey Galyonkin, the company has updated its refund policy to allow unlimited refunds as long as they’re within 14 days of purchase and with less than two hours of play time. You still have to submit a support request for now (there’s a “self-service” option coming), but you no longer have to provide a bevy of information so long as the refund meets the criteria.

If this sounds familiar, it should — the time window is the same as Steam’s refund policy. Galyonkin added later that he preferred the initial approach, since “most people” don’t refund more than two games per year but that some games’ problems weren’t apparent before the two-hour mark. The company switched because it was “too hard to communicate” that approach, he argued. Of course, this approach also left you out of luck if you did need a third refund, and likely wasn’t going to please regulators who’ve wanted consistent refund options.

The change in policy comes shortly after complaints about the quality of Epic’s support (most of it before the Games Store), although it’s not believed to be in response to those concerns. The Better Business Bureau had given Epic a symbolic “F” for allegedly ignoring most BBB complaints in 2018, including refund and exchange issues. The developer referred those disputes to its player support team, but there have been questions about the BBB’s objectivity. It only gives accreditation to companies that pay its annual fees, and Epic isn’t one of them. It’s difficult to say for sure whether or not Epic has been as negligent as claimed, and its new refund policy might indirectly address some of those worrie.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Link to original source