Update, 1/23/2021: Microsoft has updated its original post to indicate that the cost of Xbox Live Gold will not increase after all. This decisiveness, obviously spurred by a solid consumer backlash ( Microsoft was trending most of Friday afternoon on Twitter, and not in the playfulness room ), comes hired hand in pass with a switch coming “ adenine soon as potential ” that will allow players to access free-to-play games ’ on-line modes without Xbox Live Gold .
Microsoft updated its master article on its official news locate, saying “ We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a critical depart of gambling and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a solution, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold price. ”
Original story: Microsoft announced Friday that it ’ s planning to dramatically raise the monthly cost of its Xbox Live Gold subscription service, which is required for Xbox owners who want to play their console table games online .
“ sporadically, we assess the prize and price of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community, ” Microsoft wrote in its announcement. “ We ’ ll be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in choice markets. In many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold has not changed for years and in some markets, it hasn ’ t changed for over 10 years. ” This includes the U.S, where the base price of Xbox Live hasn ’ t gone up since 2010 .
Going forward, the monetary value of a Gold membership is planned to rise to $ 10.99 per calendar month, $ 29.99 per three months, and $ 59.99 per six months. ( The 12-month choice was softly discontinued last July, although some brick-and-mortar stores may still sell physical give cards that offer a entire class of Gold. ) amber subscribers will placid receive the choice to download several free games each calendar month, a well as access to a rotating categorization of exclusive flare sales .
For consumers, this means that the cheapest potential method of getting a wide class ’ s entree to Xbox Live Gold has efficaciously doubled in price, from $ 60 to $ 120. By way of comparison, the exchangeable subscription services on Sony ’ s PlayStation 4/5 and the Nintendo Switch cost $ 59.99 and $ 19.99, respectively, for a class ’ second access .
At time of writing, it ’ mho unclear whether existing 6- or 12-month subscribers to Xbox Live Gold will remain on the former price dodge in perpetuity, or will be charged for the new price the adjacent time their subscriptions renew.
notably, the Xbox besides remains the only major console on which free-to-play on-line games, such as Fortnite, Rocket League, Rec Room, and Call of Duty: Warzone, hush require a pay Xbox Live Gold subscription for players to access their multiplayer modes. On the Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4/5, these games can be played on-line without a subscription to Sony or Nintendo ’ s respective on-line services. however, the Xbox is the lone console of the three that offers free cloud accompaniment of users ’ data, which both the PlayStation and Switch treat as a subscription perk up .
Among diligence analysts, Microsoft ’ s Live monetary value rise is seen as an attempt to incentivize its players to move off of Xbox Live Gold as a criterion service, in favor of the $ 14.99/month Ultimate adaptation of the Xbox Game Pass .
Microsoft ’ s recent moves with its Xbox arm have been toward decoupling it from the console table market and turning it into a sort of virtual ecosystem, available on PCs, fluid devices, and tied competitors ’ platforms. Since Xbox Live Gold is strictly for console table players ( personal computer owners on any service don ’ t typically pay any extra price for on-line play, barring specific per-game subscription fees ), and Gold ’ south basic functionality is already rolled up into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the monetary value hike represents a sort of piano coerce for consumers to make the throw.
In hypothesis, this would let Microsoft finally phase out Xbox Live Gold as a standalone service, in privilege of continuing its stream emphasis on the Game Pass. Another period in this perspective ’ s favor : Microsoft said that any current gold members who ’ ve got a few months left in their current subscription can presently convert their amber time into Game Pass Ultimate for no extra price .
Players who have registered an Xbox Live account with Microsoft and connected their Xboxes to the internet, but who do not pay for a monthly subscription, are mechanically considered members of Xbox Live ’ s free Silver plan. Silver, which provides a handful of perks like access to the Xbox ’ s social networks and cloud server, is unaffected by this change .