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Xbox Live Gold price increase was to make Game Pass look like better value

Subscription fees for Xbox Live Gold were going to increase, but fans have prompted Microsoft to reverse its decision.

While it doesn’t include the Xbox Game Pass, for years many Xbox owners have relied on their Xbox Live Gold subscriptions for access to online gaming and spending time with friends.

This has only become more important as the current pandemic has gone on, with many forced to stay indoors and unable to socialise in person. Which is why people were outraged when Microsoft announced it would be increasing the subscription fees for Xbox Live Gold.

When faced with the immediate backlash, Microsoft decided to reverse its decision and, so, the prices will remain the same: £6.99/$9.99 for one month, £17.99/$24.99 for three months, £29.99/$39.99 for six months, and £49.99/$59.99 for 12 months.

The original plan would’ve seen, in America at least, the prices increase to $10.99 for one month, $29.99 for three months, and $59.99 for six months. It’s unknown if Microsoft would’ve done the same in the UK but luckily we never got to find out.

‘We messed up today and you were right to let us know,’ wrote Microsoft in an update on its website, ‘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.’

Not only that, but Microsoft confirmed that it’s working on making free-to-play games like Call Of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite available to all Xbox owners, meaning you’ll no longer need an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

This is a welcome move, especially since needing a paid subscription for free-to-play games means they’re not really free to play.

As for why Microsoft intended to increase prices in the first place, analyst Daniel Ahmad broke it down in a lengthy Twitter thread which has been handily compiled on ResetEra.

In brief, he states that by increasing Xbox Live Gold costs, Microsoft hoped it would incentivise more people into signing up for Game Pass, since it would seem like a better deal in comparison.

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