UPDATE: Xbox leadership has announced that the planned Xbox Live Gold price increases are being cancelled. And they have also committed to removing the paywall for players to access free to play titles in the coming months. You can find the updated Xbox News Wire post here.
No Changes to Xbox Live Gold Pricing, Free-to-Play Games Unlockedhttps://t.co/YIHioILbwF
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️💚U (@aarongreenberg) January 23, 2021
Original Article: In a rather surprise announcement by the Xbox team this morning, the prices of Xbox Live Gold are increasing, and substantially so.
In a detailed post on Xbox Wire, the team announced the following pricing increases:
- One month will now be $10.99
- Three months will now be $29.99
- Six months will now be $59.99
- One year will be $119.99
If you follow us or the industry, then you know the focus for Xbox is Game Pass. Given the price increases of Gold, and this following nugget, many believe this is just another angle for Xbox to push people towards Game Pass Ultimate:
If you’d like to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate your remaining Gold time will also convert directly to Ultimate (up to 36 months). For example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold now, and you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no additional cost.
Honestly, this just seems like a poor decision all-around. With the move to Game Pass Ultimate for many users, and the reduction in quality of Games with Gold, it seems bizarre to double the price of annual subscriptions just to play online. And keep in mind, Xbox still requires Gold to play free to play games like Fortnite online. That means that of any platform (PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox), Xbox is the only one to require payment to play free games – and is now doubling that price. In our opinion, Xbox needs to re-think this swiftly.
UPDATE: This was a very swift turn-around for the Xbox team and we’re glad they recognized the need and acted. It is long overdue for there to be no barriers to free to play games on Xbox Live, and we hope they continue to look at improving the Live Gold offering in the future.