On Friday, we reported on Microsoft’s plans to increase Xbox Live Gold pricing. A decision immediately met with community backlash. Many criticized the impact the increase would have on our already limited opportunities to socialize amidst the pandemic—a time when gamers are looking to save more and not necessarily spend more. Finances are tight for many, and a pricing increase that would effectively double the cost in many regions is at best thoughtless.
Within hours Microsoft reversed its stance on its price increase after fan backlash.
Today was not great. We always try to do our best for you and today we missed the mark.
We hear you, and we’re reversing our Xbox Live Gold pricing updates.”
Furthermore, Microsoft expanded on this by saying that they would be eliminating Gold requirements for free-to-play games.
“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.
It’s not surprising that the price increase was ill-received, but It’s good to know that Microsoft is listening to its fans. Making free-to-play games more accessible is a great move, one we’re thrilled to see.
XBOX LIVE GOLD INCREASES IN PRICE