The recent announcement of an attempted Xbox Live Gold price increase had everyone angry at Xbox and Microsoft. The plan had been to double the yearly cost of Xbox Live Gold, in an attempt to increase the value proposition of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The effort was met with resounding refusal and backlash from gamers and outlets.
The price hike of more than $60 was met with major outrage, as it is. Xbox wanted to charge much more for no added benefit. And it wasn’t just the yearly cost going up. The various bundles of the monthly Xbox Live Gold subs were all getting prices increased as well. Here’s the breakdown of pricing on new accounts:
- 1 Month Xbox Live Gold – $10.99
- 3 Month Xbox Live Gold – $29.99
- 6 Month Xbox Live Gold – $59.99
So as you can expect, gamers didn’t like it very much. After getting roasted online and in the media, the company quickly put out a mea culpa, admitting that they were wrong. Of course, no one really expects the company to care. There’s a general expectation among many that Xbox is just waiting until they can get away with it, then they will gouge pricing again. For now, though, Microsoft has backed off the planned price increase.
Now, Xbox and Microsoft are trying to steer forward as best they can. They hope to stave off more backlash, mostly by continuing as things were before.
To stave off some anger Xbox did attempt to soften the blow by also announcing the games for February 2021. The games are being given out to any valid Gold members free-of-charge, as is usual for Games With Gold. There will be five games given out this time; with titles like Gears 5 and Resident Evil HD Remaster leading the charge. Those two will run the entire month of February from February 1 until February 28. These will also be joined by Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition later in the month starting Feb. 16. Other games being added include Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, which lands from the 1st to the 15th, and finally Lost Planet 2 for the Xbox 360 will be available between February 16 and February 28.
These aren’t some bad offerings, and it should help return a bit of good faith to Xbox from gamers. Although with the expectation that these attempted price hikes will return, there’s a spectre hanging over the Xbox brand right now.