Update: Late on Friday, Microsoft reversed course after receiving overwhelming negative feedback. Here is their response in full. The original post will follow the response.
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.
Microsoft has today unveiled its next line-up of free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, which is headlined by some excellent games that include Resident Evil Remake and Gears 5.
The full line-up throughout February and the dates each is available is as follows:
- Gears 5 ($39.99 ERP): Available February 1 to 28
- Resident Evil ($19.99 ERP): Available February 1 to 28
- Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition ($14.99 ERP): Available February 16 to March 15
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb ($9.99 ERP): Available February 1 to 15
- Lost Planet 2 ($19.99 ERP): Available February 16 to 28
It is, perhaps, no coincidence that Xbox Live Gold’s best lineup in quite some time arrives just as Microsoft simultaneously announces a monthly price increase for the service.
In a separate, dedicated article, it is explained that Microsoft has “assessed” the value of its service in a number of key markets where the price has not changed in 10 years. As a result, select regions will now pay more per month.
However, existing subscribers won’t pay any more than they already are if they choose to renew after their subscription runs out.
The 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.
The new pricing is, therefore, 1-month for $10.99, 3-months for $29.99, and 6-months for $59.99
Here’s the breakdown of how the price increase applies to existing and new customers:
- If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at the current price.
- The price of a 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.
- If you’d like to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate your remaining Gold time will also convert directly to Ultimate (up to 36 months). For example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold now, and you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no additional cost.
It’s worth noting that those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate get all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold in addition to the 100+ game library and additional benefits of Game Pass. It seems likely, then, that Microsoft’s price increase is partially an effort to channel more customers toward the Ultimate package.