Earlier today Microsoft announced that they would be increasing the price of its Xbox online service, Xbox Live Gold. Now, the console maker is reversing that increase after a vocal backlash online from fans.
Microsoft originally increased Xbox Live Gold $1 for a one-month membership, a total of $10.99 per month. Three-month memberships were increasing to $29.99, a $5 increase. The last increase was a six-month membership would jump up to $59.99, the previous price of a year membership. The last time prices were raised for Xbox Live Gold was back in 2010, more than ten years ago.
“Periodically, we assess the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community; we’ll be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in select markets,” the console maker explained in a blog post. “In many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold has not changed for years and in some markets, it hasn’t changed for over 10 years.”
Xbox Live Gold subscriptions return to lower price point
Now, Microsoft is walking back those changes. In an update to the blog explaining the changes, the Xbox Live Gold Team admitted the changes did not meet the expectations of players. The team revealed that they will not be making changes to Xbox Live Gold pricing.
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.
Players who are already an Xbox Live Gold member will stay at their current price when their subscription renews. A one-month subscription will remain at $9.99. A three-month subscription will stay at $24.99. A six-month subscription will be at $39.99, while a 12-month subscription will be at $59.99.
The change in pricing was to reflect the added value in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate players gain access to EA Play, Gold online membership, Game Pass for Windows PC and console, and the cloud gaming service, xCloud. The price increase also seems to have been an attempt to incentivize Xbox Live Gold subscribers to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Unlimited subscription.
Microsoft did not indicate if more changes would be coming down the road to its Xbox Live Gold subscription after user feedback.