Microsoft has reversed its controversial Xbox Live Gold price increase. The company announced Friday that it will increase the annual subscription cost required to play online games on Xbox consoles to $120. However, as a result of various controversies over the price increase, Microsoft announced again that the price would remain the same.
Free games will no longer need a Gold subscription
When the price increase planned by Microsoft was not successful, Microsoft made another move to make it up to the players. Beyond keeping the service price the same, the company decided to align Xbox Live with sony and Nintendo’s online services by eliminating the subscription requirement for free games.
Popular free-to-play games like Fortnite can be played on PlayStation consoles and Nintendo Switch without an online subscription. On the Xbox side, however, this was not the case, and you needed a membership to play. Aiming to turn this around and become more compatible with its competitors, Microsoft says it is working hard to make this change as soon as possible in the coming months.
Explaining the issue in a blog post, the Microsoft team assesses the situation as follows; “Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of the game and we couldn’t meet the expectations of the players who trusted him every day. As a result, we’ve decided not to change xbox live gold pricing.”
“Now that we’ve seen players at the heart of their experience, we’re turning this moment into an opportunity to make Xbox Live more compatible. You won’t need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play free games on Xbox anymore. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.”
“If you’re already an Xbox Live Gold member, you’ll stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold at the prices they pay today. In the U.S., $9.99 for 1 month, $24.99 for 3 months, $39.99 for 6 months and retail $59.99 for 12 months.”
Microsoft’s focus in recent years is thought to be the Xbox Game Pass, which has an Ultimate tier that includes access to Xbox Live Gold. While Game Pass provides great value for many players, Xbox Gold Live’s price increases have begun to be considered an initiative that pushes people to pay for the more expensive service.