Xbox Live Begins Testing Free-To-Play Multiplayer Without Gold Membership
It looks like Xbox is preparing to finally ease access to Xbox Live multiplayer in the near future. As revealed in a recent Xbox Insider release, Microsoft has begun previewing upcoming features for Xbox Live, including the ability to play free-to-play multiplayer games without the need for Gold membership. This feature is currently available for Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead tier, allowing users to “test these service changes ahead of general availability.”
Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha today we are flighting some new features. Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability
— Xbox Insider (@xboxinsider) March 24, 2021
In addition to testing free-to-play games, Microsoft also teased more features planned to become available outside Xbox Live Gold, namely Party Chat and the community-finding Looking for Group feature. Both features were also previously locked behind Gold, but it appears the legacy membership is preparing to let them go for F2P games like Fortnite and Genshin Impact, putting the platform on par with rival companies such as PlayStation and Nintendo.
As it only recently began testing, it’s difficult to guess when these updated free-to-play policies may roll out to general audiences. However, it might not be too much of a wait considering it wasn’t even that long ago when Team Green first announced such features were on the way. Following the infamous plan to increase Xbox Live Gold pricing back in January, Microsoft memorably reversed its decision and revealed plans to overhaul the membership to put “the player at the center of their experience.” This new update appears to be Microsoft making good on that promise.
What do you think? Are you excited for free-to-play games to become truly free without Gold membership, or are you just curious what this may mean for the future of Xbox Live? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.