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ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:34 am
by Sean
Original post on the ChessCube Blog:

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 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

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:10 pm
by lolstrumpf
still free users should have a 20-30 first games free. think about that, you need to add and keep new people as well as the old players !

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:41 pm
by cosmicfriend
While I can see where this post is coming from, I don't think it's a good idea.

Begginers will lose their cubits quite quickly, and will be force to stop playing, or pay to play. also, I think there will be a huge amount of people re-registering when they lose their cubits.

Also, people will join tournaments just to get the cubits, which inturn will ruin tournements,because there will be a bunch of inactive players not-playing each other.

So you'll have alot of inactive accounts whose information will be kept on the servers.

All in all, you could've given us an add or two to keep the costs down instead of this measure, which i think will be completly contraproductive.

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:13 pm
by loesje
cosmicfriend has right and also the crowns are too difficult to get in another way than paying. This is why only a few people have bought a VIP membership.

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:33 pm
by loesje
and another thing: the prices for buying things in the shop are so high that players have to earn many cubits before they can buy. That's also a reason that only a few people buy things in the shop.

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:01 pm
by FrankBGambit
i paid for premuim membership and now i got pay for games in cubits seems bit unfair , i would enter tornys and bet cubits if cc auto detection system was able to insure fair play live when playing, until some improvement in engine detection use in tornys is of better standared i wont enter tornys or bet cubits

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:02 pm
by ronchon
You can't say that this website is free if you can't play for free....:
25 cubits per day is two games...if you lose then you have to pay to play
Sorry, but I don't want to pay for playing.
Chesscube is very cool for playing but there are some orthers chess website when you can really play for free.
So, farewell Chesscube, it's been nice.

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:10 pm
by chessfanat01
What was the improvements, because I see none...

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:27 pm
by dynamic_play
If the CEO can throw in some details about cost cuts(details) I could or people i know might offer you a better solution. it's still just a chess server, doesn't need all that much computing power to run. the 6m games/mo figure doesn't quite make a lot of sense as far as computing goes, which is where some details might help to flow chart it out so you know where the bottleneck is and rectify it.

Not sure of how many people manage the site but for a place like chesscube, at the most 8 people to help in support? rest can be throw in as moderators but not on a paid basis!! let them offer free support in the channels/rooms/

Either way I'm offering to help because i've stuck to playing here for awhile and like it. give it a thought, drop me an email.

[email protected]

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:32 pm
by imbulzatu
Let's do a simple math exercise:

"If free players will come everyday to gather the free cubits and play them on weekend days ( :-| ), what will happen?"


- no more 6 million games/month so...;
- ...the new server costs to "increase" will be for nothing;
- small rated players with no chance for winning in tourneys will dissapear since there are no tourneys based on ratings...;
- .. if rating based tournaments then -> more Sandbagging (because of cubits value);
- players will migrate to another sites to play for free (believe me there are a lot of sites and you do them a great good);
- new members will think twice before playing or before becoming members since their games to play here are limited;
- increased number of cheaters - cubits are hard to get, needed and because other sites (that take money to allow playing) have a chess engine to verify all the games;
- increased number of inactive {accounts and tournament players}.

Then what should we do?:
more adds and another system to take, from each game, smaller number of cubits only from loosing players - like 5 cubits from a game and from the looser (on 6mil games/month..), more tournaments with smaller prizes and slowly increased enter fee, more goods with lowered price...

Good luck all and God bless you !