Microsoft announced today that it was increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold in select markets. The subscription service is still required to play all multiplayer games on Xbox consoles, even free-to-play games like Fortnite.
Last year, Microsoft stopped selling 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions on the Microsoft Store, though the company allowed existing subscribers to renew their existing subscriptions with the same pricing. In the US, 12 months of Xbox Live Gold used to cost $59.99, but going forward new subscribers will only get 6 months of Xbox Live Gold for that same price.
"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,” the Xbox Live Gold team said today. "Going forward, new pricing will be 1-month for $10.99, 3-months for $29.99, and 6-months for $59.99, or your local market equivalent."
It seems a bit surprising to increase the price of Xbox Live Gold right in the middle of a pandemic when more people than ever have been playing games to cope with these difficult times, but here we are. Microsoft will notify all Xbox Live Gold subscribers affected by the new price changes, but here’s what you can expect:
- If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at the current price.
- The price of a 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.
- 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.
If you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you should probably took a look at upgrading your subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold as well as Xbox Game Pass for Console, access to EA Play on Console, Xbox Game Pass for PC, as well as access to over 100 Xbox Game Pass games on Android devices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is just $14.99/month while one month of Xbox Live Gold is now $10.99, you definitely gain a lot by switching to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
If you're scratching your head at these latest price increases for Xbox Live Gold, you're probably not alone. Former Xbox exec Mike Ybarra suggested Microsoft "get rid of Gold, stop charging for multiplayer especially in F2P games."
Yikes. Get rid of Gold, stop charging for multiplayer, especially in F2P games. And put energy behind ensuring Game Pass is the best deal around. Must be a plan to make Gold only people go to Game Pass to show growth there. Poor communication on this, sadly.
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) January 22, 2021
Do you think that Microsoft chose the worst timing for announcing these price changes, and do you think it's time for Microsoft to finally get rid of Xbox Live Gold? Let us know what you think in the comments below.