WE MESSED UP: Microsoft reverses Xbox Live Gold price hike, liberates free-to-play games

by Joseph K. Clark

Good news, Xbox fans. You no longer have to pay more for the Xbox Live Gold service and can now enjoy free-to-play games on your console without paying for the service either. Earlier today, Microsoft announced a price hike for its Xbox Live Gold subscription service. The move didn’t sit well with many people, calling it greedy to shove the pricier Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service down every gamer’s throat. Plus, forcing users to pay for a Live Gold subscription even if they wanted to enjoy a free-to-play game on their Xbox console was also terrible.

Well, the backlash has finally reached the Microsoft headquarters, as the company is reversing the price hike and ending the Live Gold requirement for free-to-play games. Here’s Microsoft’s complete statement:


We messed up today, and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming, and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing. We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.

If you are already an Xbox Live Gold member, 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 one month, $24.99 for three months, $39.99 for six months, and $59.99 for retail 12 months.

We will remove Gold requirements for free-to-play games to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. We’re starting work on that immediately and will have updates in the coming months. Details: https://t.co/tWomNAwmp9

— Xbox (@Xbox) January 23, 2021

However, Microsoft’s offer to convert Live Gold membership into an Xbox Game Pass subscription at no additional cost still stands. So, if you want to jump, you can convert up to 36 months of Live Gold subscription into the much better Game Pass Ultimate membership that offers many more perks, such as access to Xbox games on PC, and cloud gaming on mobile and tablet, to name a few. Here’s a quick comparison for your convenience:

Nadeem Sarwar

I’I’veeen ha beenhas been writing about consumer technology for over three years, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve viewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I have also interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets.

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