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Diablo Immortal is coming but it’s probably not what you expect

Well, that was an underwhelming announcement

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BlizzCon was held last weekend in Anaheim, California, and it gave us some cool things like the first Nexus hero in Heroes of the Storm, a remastered Warcraft 3, the re-release of the classic World of Warcraft (for all those nostalgic gamers), a new badass Overwatch hero, and even Destiny 2 as a gift (check your Blizzard accounts if you haven’t yet). It also gave us a new Diablo game.

Diablo III was released way back in 2012 and only received a lukewarm response. Fans have been crying out for a follow up to Diablo III and/or a remastering of the beloved Diablo II for years. So when Diablo Immortal was announced, it’s safe to say the people were excited. The cinematic trailer looked promising, but then ended with the words “Coming soon to Mobile,” and people got pissed. It went as far as someone asking if the announcement was an out-of-season April Fools’ joke during the Q&A. Yikes.

In the midst of all the backlash, one of the things that came to light was that this new game, for which they partnered with the Chinese company NetEase, seemed to be a reskin of an older game by NetEase. People noticed that the user interface for Diablo Immortal, among other things, was very similar to that of Crusaders of Light, and this didn’t really help the situation.

So, Diablo Immortal’s announcement was a disappointment to say the least. It’s also worth mentioning though, that it’s possible that they wanted to penetrate the Asian mobile gaming market (which is huge specifically in the Southeast), which could also be why they partnered up with NetEase. Also who’s to say, this game could very well be a hit when it’s released or even years later. But our fingers are also still crossed for Diablo IV hopefully coming soon.

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Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Grab to refund its riders up to PhP 5M

The company was penalized for overcharging

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Do you use Grab daily? If so, then watch out for your Grab credits these coming weeks. An antitrust body in the Philippines ruled that Grab was overpricing its customers and ordered the company to refund its customers.

Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) announced on Monday that it has ordered Grab to return an estimated PhP 5.05 million to its riders. The antitrust body ruled that the company overcharged its car-hailing service from February 2019 to May 2019. So, the next time you open the Grab app, watch out for additional credits. You will receive it within 60 days — the time period PCC allotted for Grab to comply.

The exact reason why PCC found the company overcharging is unknown. However, this is not the first time the company was fined for overcharging. Last July 2018, Grab returned PhP 10 million plus rebate to its customers for overcharging and imposing a PhP 2 waiting time penalty to its riders.

PCC has already set conditions for Grab to avoid overcharging in the future. You are likely to benefit from these conditions, as Grab’s monopoly in Southeast Asia made it increase prices recently. Also, these conditions are meant to improve Grab’s car-hailing service, which is a win-win situation for you, the company, and the government.

However, the PhP 5.05 million fine is just a drop in the bucket for Grab. The company has diversified into new market segments, ensuring more profits and revenue. Plus, a big-name car manufacturer invested in the company last year for improving its car-hailing operations.

SOURCE: CNN Philippines

 

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TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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