Xbox Live Gold Price Increase Reversed By Microsoft – “We Messed Up”
Having been an integral part of the Xbox experience since debuting on the OG system, Xbox Live Gold has largely kept players online with a uniform price point for the entirety of its existence. Across 18 years, the service only increased the price of yearly subscriptions a single time – from $50 USD to $60 USD – happening over ten years ago for the Xbox 360. Upon the passing of 2021, it appears Microsoft felt another, albeit more substantial, increase was in order, but the last 24 hours suggests the decision didn’t exactly pan out as predicted.
Addressing the divisive raise in a new Xbox Wire post, Microsoft swiftly announced the decision to end all plans for a higher-priced Xbox Live Gold, choosing instead to leave membership options the way they currently are. Monthly ($9.99), 3-month ($24.99), 6-month ($39.99) as well as 1-year ($59.99) subscriptions are set to remain unchanged, with Microsoft admitting the company “messed up” and acknowledging online play “is a vital part of gaming.”
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.”
In addition to rolling back Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft decidedly put its money where its mouth was and announced further changes that would demonstrate its professed commitment to gamers. Free-to-play titles like Apex Legends and Rocket League were revealed to “no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play,” establishing a policy similar to that of Sony and Nintendo. These changes were confirmed to start rolling out “as soon as possible in the coming months.”
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.”
Happening just yesterday, Microsoft originally announced Xbox Live Gold would be receiving a comprehensive price increase, with 1-month ($10.99), 3-month ($29.99), and 6-month ($59.99) subscriptions each rising by $1, $5, and $20 respectively. Missing from the announcement was the mainstay year-long subscription, and for good reason: the price was increased a whopping %200, amounting to a total of $119.99 USD.
While the company didn’t outright spell it out, many saw this significant price increase as a means to drive subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The change would have made Xbox Live Gold look downright unappealing in comparison to the all-in-one service’s 15-month subscription plan, which currently stands at $180. As the backlash to this decision has shown, not everyone is privy to the much-touted “best deal in gaming,” so it’s probably best Microsoft reversed its decision before Gold became known as “the worst deal in gaming.”
Apologies for all the angst and emotion this caused today for our customers. As always, we appreciate the feedback. This is a good learning opportunity for us and we will learn from it.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 23, 2021
What do you think? Are you glad to see Xbox Live Gold prices return to normal, or do you feel the service has become antiquated with the ready availability of Game Pass Ultimate? 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.