By - Rod_Rigov
This might be the most detail-less announcement ever.
No details, but a huge message is conveyed by repetitious reassurance:
THIS will be the same.
THAT will be the same.
Please don't anybody panic.
Everything's going to be fine, really.
Everyone says that. I'd love to see an announcement that says "This changes *everything*."
A positive message was possible:
"This is a Real Game Changer, with this infusion of capital we can finally achieve X, Y, Z."
Instead, the press release looks like severe damage control.
Prediction: with private equity getting on board there will be more attempts to monetize the user base through "value added content" and investment will be focused on attracting casuals/new players as opposed to providing features for advanced players.
Maybe in the long future, but usually private equity at this level will allow the business to run without tampering.
You don't invest in something unless you see potential for a return so...
Okay? They could have many different paths to profitability.
Like ads, likes, and infinite scrolling
another strategy could also be acquisition - not necessarily to retain but also to demolish (competitors)
Nobody from the outside is joining our team. We will remain an independently operated company. All of the same people still work for Chess.com. Our goal and mission are the same. Nothing about how we operate today is going to change. Our leadership team will still lead. Our product team will still design the product. Our engineers will still build and scale the product. Our content team will still make the same content. Our support team will still support the same members.
If they're not going to disclose the financial details (or any details in general for what it's worth), this is next to meaningless.
Eager to see how their tournaments are going to change going forward. RCC is now a thing, also Hikaru said yesterday that they're going back to double Titled Tuesdays.
Anything new regarding the site and the userbase is probably going to continue being behind a subscription paywall anyways. 2022 is going to be interesting at the very least.
>they're going back to double Titled Tuesdays.
This included two tournaments starting 6 hours apart which is great for players that find it tough to compete at the usual starting time, most notably because of being in different timezones.
Atm it is primetime for most of Europe, but that puts it at latenight for India and during the work day for most of America. Not a huge problem for players that do chess wholetime, but great changes for titled players that want to take part in it, but are pursuing a career/education outside of chess.
Curious whether they will be keeping one of the tournaments at its current time or if they will be moving the current tournament a couple of hours earlier and putting the new tournament at a couple of hours latter than the current tournament. I think the latter would be ideal if the goal is to make it so everyone has a tournament they can reach, but changing the "main" tournaments time might be something they want to avoid as well.
> Anything new regarding the userbase it's probably going to continue being behind a subscription paywall
That's my biggest takeaway from this. Investment firm means definitive growth goals, which means more aggressive monetization of the user base. The funded events we're getting because of this are exciting, but it'll likely be at the expense of average user experience.
It's hard to imagine them going all-in on squeezing money out of people while Lichess exists, but they could very well be banking on name recognition and perceived ubiquity as means to operate as the only gig in town.
>but they could very well be banking on name recognition and perceived ubiquity as means to operate as the only gig in town.
This would be a fatal gamble. The news waves is still buzzing with the story of Hikaru heaping praise on the overall design and ease of use that lichess brings to its user base. The cat's out of the bag now. Any aggressive monetization by [chess.com](https://chess.com) will likely be met by a significant decline in their user base.
I think you're VASTLY overestimating the amount of chess.com users who give a damn about any streamer gossip, or chess news, or even really know who Hikaru is.
Most people are just there to play chess.
This may well be true. But doesn't change the bottom line, which is, Lichess (barring any unforseen circumstances) will only continue to become more popular. It has proven itself time and time again to be just as viable an option as chesscom. The chess world seems to be moving in the direction of the democratization of chess content and any aggressive attempt at monopolization or capitalization is likely to fail.
Runescape and MTX
Let's see if that equity firm knows about Runescape's story...
For someone who played Runescape very long ago but is unfamiliar with the current state of affairs, what is this story?
Long story short it's all about the controversy around the introduction of microtransactions (MTX) into the game. Arguably, Runescape became overnight a pay-to-win game, and opposers to the MTX model say microtransactions ruined the experience and fairness of the original game. It's still debated nowadays with the playerbase having very polarised opinions. MTX and Evolution of Combat are also the main - and probably only - reasons why Old School Runescape was brought to life in the first place.
>Nobody from the outside is joining our team.
Well... yea, they're joining your board.
Isn't a majority of shares in Play Magnus (the parent company of chess24, chessable, etc.) owned by various investment companies, or am I misinformed?
Feels like it's working for them at least.
Does anyone use chess24? I tried and liked chess.com and lichess better…
I don't get the impression that chess24 is focusing on "users playing chess" as much as chess.com and lichess do. My impression is that they are focused more on content production (but have features for playing as well).
Come on people. This is all about the owners making a few $$ and starting to cash out. So what will happen - fees will go up, I suspect service will decline as costs are cut. Maybe the platform is enhanced, but this is about squeezing out profit for the current owners. Yes this will change as it gets more expensive and corporate. Way it works.
Quite the opposite. It means they now have the cash to pay the bills and expand, without depending on the revenue from ads or users.
Though it might mean the owners made some pocket money for themselves too. Don't blame them for that; it would be a very small portion of the deal (a private equity firm won't invest if they see that the founders are ready to bail and leave it without leadership - and they can't easily throw someone new in there and expect it to work), and every founder takes little or no salary during the early months/years of their company.
Will believe when I see it ... I expect the membership cost to go up and I expect service to decline. I seriously doubt the founder did not take substantive money out, although I agree they have that right and have earned it. VC's are looking for return, that is it.
maybe they will ban more cheats now instead of profiting from them :)
Classic PR communication following PE acquisition. They’ll squeeze as much as they can, pump up the EBITDA (by increasing user base, not features for advanced players) and flip it for a higher multiple in a few years. All with borrowed money (leveraged buy-out). Rarely does the consumer win in this scenario.
Basically, the way it goes is that these equity companies come in and sell the other company that it's all about money and growth and everyone stays and we're all a happy family. Paint a rosy picture. Get the agreement to make the investment. Get control of the company. Everything is good for a little bit. And then the original rosy agreement is a thing of the past and the investment company comes back and jacks the cost up, adds other little annoyances, and does whatever they want for a buck.
Maybe I'll be wrong this time.
You can't just magically "get control of the company" as a minority equity holder.
So when can we short chesscom stocks?
Just short chess24 stocks - its down like 50% since peak
chess24 isn't listed anywhere
chess24 is owned by Play Magnus which is listed in Europe: https://live.euronext.com/en/product/equities/NO0010890726-MERK/play-magnus/pmg/quotes
I know that, I have owned shares there myself. But the comment said to short Chess24 shares
Hey Chess.com how about tournaments where us lesser players can win money? like 1200 Rapid players (6 months, not new) can win $500.
Why do people pretend to follow GM level games. You cannot.
Because it would be filled with cheaters?
Yep — even at the IM/FM level it would be so full that it would almost make the experience moot.
It would be amazing if chesscom started running otb open tournaments with prize funds for under sections, but there is like negative incentive for them to ever do that. So, it will still be invitation-only online events for the tippy top players.
That said, I’m glad their new tournament series expanded beyond the top 20 or so — that money is borderline life-changing for more than 50% of the players eligible to compete. Not that they’ll win it, but the opportunity is a big step
I’m guessing this is what prompted the survey sent out a few days ago that had a ridiculous number of questions on how we feel about magnus? I’m all for providing feedback, but after 2 pages of questions about magnus I lost respect for the survey. There should have just been an option ‘I really do not care if magnus associates with your platform or not.’ which would then skip over them.
So they are just bragging about getting even more money.