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Microsoft changes course: Xbox Live Gold price to remain unchanged

In a stunning move, Microsoft has doubled the cost of Xbox Live Gold in a move that pushes players to the Game Pass Subscription.

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UPDATE: Following extensive backlash from fans and personalities alike, Microsoft has announced that they are pulling a 360: the Xbox Live Gold Price will not be changed going forward.

In an upeate on the Xbox Wire, the company says “we messed up today and you were right to let us know.”

Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.

If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.

Taking it a step further, the company also announced that they will be removing the Xbox Live Gold requirement to play free to play games on their platform, including Call of Duty: Warzone. This change will happen in the “coming months” and details will be announced soon.

We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.

Original Story:

Microsoft has doubled the price of the Xbox Live Gold Subscription in an effort to get players to switch to an Xbox Game Pass Subscription.

In the XboxOne subreddit, users earlier today posted images of retail 6 month Xbox Live Gold subscription cards. The cards were priced at 59.99 USD; up $20 from the original $40 price tag. For reference, an entire year of Xbox Live used to be $59.99, before Microsoft discontinued yearly subscriptions.

This also affects 3-month and 1-month subscriptions as well, putting the $9.99 and $24.99 subscription plans up to $10.99 and $29.99 respectively. The price rise reflects a $1 increase for a month to month subscription and a $4 increase for a 3-month subscription.

This means if you plan to buy Xbox Live Gold for a year, your subscription will come out to $120, or double the old price. The move is clearly a marketing ploy by Microsoft to get players to change to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is priced at the same $120 yearly rate.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently includes Xbox Live Gold Subscription, along with access for PC Game Pass.

Xbox Series X and PS5

Microsoft: Game Pass, or bust

Microsoft’s Game Pass is, without a doubt, one of the best deals in gaming. For the price of two fully priced games, players can get access to a large library of 100+ games to play on demand. This library is constantly updated with games, while also receiving all first-party Xbox games the day of release.

This means games like Halo and Gears of War are available to all Game Pass users for no additional charge day-one of release – alongside any other games that come from Microsoft owned studios.

This will also most likely be the case for Bethesda games moving forward, since Microsoft’s pricy acquisition of the studio in September 2020.

Regardless of all the benefits, Microsoft will most likely anger consumers with this move. Game Pass is essentially being forced on all Xbox users, and now the Xbox Live Gold subscription price has also been steeply raised to make it unattractive when compared to game pass.

Worst of all, Xbox is still the only platform that requires a subscription to play free-to-play titles online, which means players who strictly play titles like Fortnite, may reconsider their options when selecting a new game system.

This price hike shouldn’t affect existing Xbox Live Gold members until they renew their membership.

Image Credits: Microsoft