Microsoft announced this morning that Xbox Live Gold subscription price is increasing. 6 months of Gold is now $59.99 (that used to be the price for 12 months). This will now mean that the yearly price for Xbox Live Gold will jump all the way to $120 a year, that’s just crazy.
Members with a 1-month membership will see prices increased by $1 as well, so everyone’s paying more. The price of a 3-month membership is increasing by $5 USD, whereas existing longer-term subscriptions won’t be going up. It seems that the new prices apply to new accounts. And what’s worse, is that there’s a reason for this madness.
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
These changes are clearly designed to push prices in a way to incentivize Xbox Game Pass Ultimate memberships, which cost $14.99 a month. Players who want to switch from the basic Xbox Live Gold tier to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, can do so for no extra cost for now. If you take advantage of the offer, you’re only going to be able to grab up to 36 months worth of membership at a time. That means that if you have 14 months on your current sub, swapping to the Game Pass version will give you 14 months at no extra cost.
The announcement was met with harsh criticism from gamers. The response is pretty much expected, as it could be argued to be price gouging. There’s no tangible improvement over the quality of services, you’re just paying even more for what’s free on other platforms.
Microsoft themselves offered a pretty shallow response, just saying that they made the change saying, “periodically, we assess the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community; we’ll be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in select markets. 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.”
Microsoft has been trying for quite a while to push Xbox Game Pass Ultimate memberships on as many people as possible. Although it’s pretty clear that increasing prices on new subs is going to make people angry, not encourage them to give more money. Xbox also still remains the only platform you need a subscription to play free to play games, including Warzone. Other platforms either don’t charge for multiplayer at all, or only charge to play online in certain games. For example, Apex Legends is free to play on PlayStation consoles.
Source: Xbox Live