Just a day after announcing that the price of its Xbox Live Gold subscription would go up, Microsoft has changed its mind and prices will remain as they are.
In an Xbox Wire message on Jan. 22, the company announced that it planned to increase the price of one month of Xbox Live Gold membership by $ 1, while the price of three months of membership would be increased by $ 5 USD. This would have brought the price of an Xbox Live Gold subscription to about $ 10.99 (about £ 8 / AU $ 14) for one month, $ 29.99 (£ 22 / AU $ 39) for three months, and $ 59 .99 (£ 44 / AU $ 78) for six months. months.
It was considered by many to be quite a steep rise that would bring the cost of a year of Xbox Live Gold membership to $ 120 for those who buy their membership for three months straight, resulting in a large amount of backlash from fans.
Having observed these responses, Microsoft has decided not to proceed with the price increase anyway.
Microsoft has even gone one step further and announced that free-to-play games on Xbox no longer require a Gold membership to play. The change won’t happen immediately, but will be introduced “in the coming months,” and will mean that when the time comes, Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer will be truly free-to-play on Xbox.
“We make this moment a chance”
In a statement (via GamesIndustry.biz) Microsoft said, “We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is an essential part of gaming and we fell short of the expectations of players who rely on it every day. That’s why we’ve decided not to change Xbox Live Gold prices.
“We take this moment as an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more into line with how we put the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to implement 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 renewal price. 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 12 months retail. “
It’s possible that the price increase was meant to make Game Pass Ultimate (including an Xbox Live Gold subscription and access to a library of games and cloud gaming) even more enticing, but such a move was not appreciated by those who felt they were were forced to take over the service.
So this turnaround is quite significant and will no doubt be welcomed by Xbox users.