Jun 21 2011

ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO


Dear ChessCube users,

ChessCube has always been a labor of love for the staff of ChessCube and our moderators and community for a number of years now. Our users love ChessCube as it is unique in what it offers to the chess community.

We have also been very fortunate in having fantastic investors whose funding allowed us to build out a great online playing product. Our tournament services are really unique and fun. All our staff love ChessCube and we all play on it regularly!

While we have always been a free-to-play service, we do in fact have a number of products that people can purchase to increase their enjoyment of ChessCube, such as VIP memberships, chess videos, backgrounds, sound packs and, of course, cubits for wagering and tournaments.

As only a few percent of our users actually do purchase items from our stores, ChessCube has not been able to run profitably enough to improve our services and grow our staff numbers.

So, we have been looking at our cost structures and have cut costs where we can. This also included moving most of our servers to a more cost-effective environment over the last two weeks. This has led to some downtime and some small issues with our service – but we have been hard at work to ensure that our service levels are back to normal – and in fact our goal is to make them better than ever. Due to the high volume of games on our servers (6m a month!) though, we are already hitting some limits on our new server infrastructure – but we have some ideas how to manage this.

As you know, every company needs to make a profit, in order to invest into growth and improvements. For this reason I would like to appeal to you, our loyal users, to help ChessCube by taking up VIP memberships, buying cubits and crowns and taking part in our amazing tournament services.

As you know, you can earn free cubits every day by showing up and winning games or playing in tournaments. Our promise to you is that we will always keep ChessCube a free service. Nevertheless, as the cost of our servers, staff and other running costs is high, we have decided to ‘charge’ 10 cubits for all rated or unrated games.  This is not a true financial charge though as you can simply use the cubits you receive each day to play. You can also win cubits in wagering games, tournaments and off our hourly/weekly/monthly leader boards.

Wagering games and tournament games will not be affected at all by this charge though. We will also increase the number of free and low-cubit entry tournaments at the same time.

VIP members play free and will not have to pay any cubits for their games. And in fact, if you do run out of cubits, buying even $5 worth of cubits will give you around 5,000 cubits which is 500 games!

I understand that some of you will not be happy to have limits imposed on your free games, but this will lead to a better service for all of our users.

VIP has all of these great benefits http://www.chesscube.com/vip but, even if none of them are appealing to you, consider a VIP purchase as a sign of your support for ChessCube. All of these actions will be greatly appreciated by your ChessCube team and will lead to a better service for all.

If you would like to contact me to discuss any issues, please email [email protected]

Thanking you in advance!

Mark Levitt
CEO ChessCube