People that have been keeping tabs on the online Xbox community may have been aware that Microsoft was looking to change the price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. This change in pricing was originally going to be an extra dollar for one month of Gold ($11) and an extra five dollars for three months of Gold ($30). Needless to say, a lot of the Xbox community was unhappy about this, and they made sure to let Microsoft know. The good news is that Microsoft actually listened!
Microsoft pretty much nixed the whole operation overnight, announcing to everyone that they will reverse their planned price increases. This means that an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is needed to play online, will not become more expensive. On top of that, Microsoft is unlocking all free to play games: this means that people who don’t even have a Gold subscription will be able to play them with their friends. Ultimately, everything is actually a little cheaper than it was in the first place.
Industry Analyst Daniel Ahmad claims that the decision to make free-to-play multiplayer well and truly free in every sense of the word was “in the works for months.” Apparently, the hugely negative feedback regarding the price increase was a major contributor to announcing it now. All of this said, Microsoft’s focus on Game Pass over Gold by itself still isn’t changing.
Below is Microsoft’s statement regarding the situation.
“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.
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.
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.”
As stated previously, this reversal by Microsoft was mostly due to the near-unanimous wave of negative feedback that came their way via social media after the announcement about increasing prices.
As the statement made clear, the process of making free to play games truly free is a gradual one, so for now, you’ll still need a Gold subscription for games like Warframe, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and all the rest of them, but only for a little longer.
And in case you’re unclear about that, what we’re saying is that all games that are free-to-play on Xbox right now will be playable online without an Xbox Live subscription. The future is now!