UPDATE: Microsoft has backtracked on these changes and has announced that the prices will not be altered. In a message on Twitter and their Xbox Newswire, they announced that they had messed up, and not only would they be repealing the price changes, they would also unlock the requirement for free-to-play games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone requiring Xbox Live Gold to play online, bringing the service more in line with PlayStation Plus’s approach.
Original story follows:
You might be forgiven to forget that Xbox Live Gold was still a cornerstone of Xbox services. Xbox Game Pass has been championed by Microsoft as their approach to gaming for the future and has seen a small shift in the public perception about what services they deem worthy of subscribing to. Not too long after, Game Pass Ultimate came out and combined the benefits of Game Pass for console and PC alongside Xbox Live Gold. It then probably comes as a surprise to hear that Microsoft will be increasing the price of their Xbox Live Gold service by $1 per month and $5 for three months.
That would make the new prices of Xbox Live Gold be $10.99 for a month, $29.99 for three months, and $59.99 for six months. Originally, that $60 price would cover a whole year of Gold, before Microsoft quietly removed the 12-month option last year.
This change was mostly unexpected, given the company’s focus towards Game Pass, but it points towards the phasing out of a traditional online subscription service like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus. The hiking of Gold prices suggests that Microsoft would like to transition people to its Game Pass service, and they have even stated that people with an existing Gold membership would be able to convert their time into a Game Pass Ultimate subscription for no additional cost for up to 36 months.
Gold members have been notified via email, and we will see how it pans out. Game Pass Ultimate has already been a highly recommended service for some time, and we will gradually see those subscriber numbers increase concurrently with the value for money Game Pass offers, including EA Play in the mix for free too. This news comes around the same time that Microsoft announced the next games to be available to Gold subscribers for Games With Gold in February 2021.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s decision to increase Xbox Live Gold prices (and its choice to revert it)? Let us know in the comments below!