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, with many calling it a greedy move to shove the pricier Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service down every gamer’s throats. 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 a terrible idea.

Microsoft reverses

Well, it appears that the backlash has finally reached the Microsoft headquarters, as the company is reversing the price hike and is also 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 an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. 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 retail 12-months.

To bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience, we will be removing Gold requirements for free-to-play games. 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 make the jump, you can convert up to 36-months of Live Gold subscription into the much better Game Pass Ultimate membership that offers a lot more perks such as access to Xbox games on PC, cloud gaming on mobile and tablet to name a few. Here’s a quick comparison for your convenience:

Nadeem Sarwar

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

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