Xbox Live Gold Was Always Going To Drop The Free
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On Friday morning, Microsoftannounced it was increasing the price of its Xbox Live Gold subscription service. By Friday evening, it reversed that decision and then some. In an update to its news post about the price change, the company explained that it had messed up. And according to sources familiar with the matter, Xbox leadership came to that conclusion quickly after a loud public outcry from gamers but also from feedback within other Xbox teams.
Going forward, new and existing Xbox Live Gold subscribers can join the service for the current price. That means $10 per month, $25 for three months, $40 for six months, and $60 for a year. Thats opposed to the now-abandoned plan to increase prices to $11 per month, $30 for three months, and $60 for six months. On top of that, you will soon no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to access online features for free-to-play games.
We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months, reads the blog update.
This is an exciting change for people who want to play Fortnite or with friends. But dropping the paywall for free-to-play games was already on Microsofts roadmap for later this year. The company is simply accelerating those plans.
Microsoft Removes Xbox Live Gold Requirement For Free
Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat are also being made exempt from the Live Gold requirement.
Subscribing to Xbox Live Gold unlocks a number of benefits, but Microsoft has decided to relax the rules a bit when it comes to multiplayer gaming and chat features currently locked behind a Gold subscription.
A from the official Xbox Insider account confirms that an Xbox Live Gold subscription isn’t going to be a requirement for free-to-play multiplayer games, Looking 4 Groups, and Party Chat for much longer. Right now, Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha bands can enjoy the loosening of restrictions, but eventually all Xbox games should benefit.
The change will be most welcome for multiplayer gaming in free-to-play titles such as Fortnite and . That’s not to say Microsoft should expect Live Gold subscriptions to be cancelled. The two key benefits of subscribing remain in the form of two free games every month and regular discounts of up to 50% on selected titles.
Xbox Live Is Gone Long Live Xbox Network
While the update from Xbox Live to the Xbox network was sudden for some, there are no changes or differences from the service you already know apart from the name, of course. Now you know what the Xbox network is, why the name change happened, and the state of Xbox Live Gold right now.
While Microsoft has hopefully solved this potential source of confusion once and for all, there’s still the case of the Xbox Game Pass versus the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If you don’t know the difference between the two, you should check out the differences so you know exactly what you’re getting for both.
Image Credit: Arto Tahvanainen / Shutterstock.com
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What Happened To Xbox Live Most Recent Downtime Updates
The transition from single player arcade games to online multiplayer was heavily sought out by fans as consoles got better and games got better. Tired of the split screen multiplayer or just single player games in general, video game fans were anxious for change. Thankfully their cries were heard in the form of the Xbox in 2002 with the service being refined in Microsoft Corporation s next console, the Xbox 360. In direct competition with the online multiplayer service demonstrated on the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3 was also released the same year demonstrating PSN or Playstation Network, Sonys equivalent to Xbox Live. Then following both consoles, Nintendo incorporated online functionality in their Wii and Nintendo 3ds systems.
Gaming fans were finally given a stable and effective online multiplayer access through Xbox Live and PSN. Arguably, Xbox Live was far more successful due to the easier interface and the ability to connect together in Xbox Live parties. With online gaming really taking off, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 marked a new period in gaming which was met with an abundance of praise and joy. But, with all that being said, what happened to Xbox Live? It seems to have stayed on the gaming scene but without the most apparent success it showed in the beginning of its lifetime.
Move Will Bring Xbox In Line With Playstation And Switch’s Online Subscriptions
by Kyle Orland – Mar 25, 2021 7:53 pm UTC
Xbox owners soon won’t need to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription to enjoy otherwise free-to-play games on their consoles. Wednesday’s update to the Xbox Alpha Insiders Update Preview program notes that “Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership.” These features are being tested with Insiders “ahead of general availability,” according to the update.
Microsoft first announced this move back in January as the company was busy rolling back a controversial planned increase in Xbox Live Gold prices. Back then, Microsoft said the free-to-play change was coming “as soon as possible in the coming months,” but the rollout to Insiders suggests it will be reaching all Xbox players imminently.
Microsoft’s decision here brings the service in line with its major console competitors. When Sony started charging for multiplayer gameplay on PlayStation Network in 2014, it included a specific carve-out for “a selection of free-to-play multiplayer titles will be available without a PS Plus membership.” Nintendo included a similar carve-out for free-to-play titles like Fortnite when it started charging for its Switch Online service in 2018.
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What’s Changing With Xbox Live Gold
Microsoft has shaken up its Xbox online services this year, with some of the most extensive changes to date for Xbox Live. It skews the value proposition of its Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, making online multiplayer more accessible and better positioning its services against the competition. That all stems from an ongoing effort to reshape its subscription portfolio, changing up the value of Xbox Live Gold as Xbox Game Pass takes the spotlight.
The new changes for Xbox Live Gold impact its online multiplayer, the subscription’s primary draw since its inception. Microsoft has lifted the requirement for Xbox Live Gold to play free-to-play titles online, making these true no-cost experiences on the platform. That mimics a similar policy seen on PlayStation consoles, with no PlayStation Plus requirement for free-to-play games.
This massive policy shift impacts a considerable slice of Xbox owners, with free-to-play titles among the top games played today. Experiences include Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends, all drawing millions with no upfront cost. Microsoft has now rolled out these Xbox Live Gold changes, and multiplayer automatically works across these titles, subscription-free.
Microsoft has also dropped the Xbox Live branding, steadily adopting the Xbox network branding moving forward. However, the Xbox Live Gold name will remain as is a move designed to help better distinguish the underlying service from the paid subscription.
What’s Going On With Xbox Clubs
So, Xbox Clubs. Remember those?
Xbox Clubs were introduced a fair while back, alongside an update in 2016. The social system effectively lets gamers on Xbox Live set up communities for all sorts of activities, pooling shared clips, messages, and other content, through a single forum-like space. However, since their initial launch, Xbox Clubs have had almost no updates whatsoever.
According to Microsoft, at least as of a few years ago, there were millions of active users of Xbox Clubs, and tens of thousands of communities on Xbox Live. In 2020, though, we have to ask, is Microsoft gearing up to ditch them completely?
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When Will These Xbox Live Gold Changes Arrive
The new changes to Xbox Live Gold are now rolling out on Xbox consoles. Following the change, free-to-play multiplayer games are now playable on any account with or without an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Some titles, like Call of Duty: Warzone and Destiny 2, issued mandatory updates related to the change, which must be installed before accessing free-to-play multiplayer. The release follows what looked to be a somewhat reactionary announcement in January, with several weeks of testing through the Xbox Insider Program.
Xbox Live Back Online After Major Outage
It’s not just you — Xbox Live players worldwide reported troubles logging in.
Xbox Live’s online platform for console gamers suffered a major outage Thursday afternoon, with gamers worldwide to report troubles logging in.
But later in the day, the problems seemed to have been resolved. Around 6:30 p.m. PT, the Xbox Support team tweeted that users should once again be able to sign in, complete purchases and join chat sessions. On Friday morning, the Xbox status page listed all online functions as up and running.
Users should once again be able to sign-in, complete purchases and join chat sessions. Thank you for your patience and as always, we’re listening.
The outage appears to have started shortly after noon PT on Thursday. “We are aware that users may not be able to sign-in to Xbox Live at this time,” the company’s support account tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Our teams are currently investigating to fix this issue.”
Users might also experience issues with purchasing content and party chat too, Xbox Support tweeted later Thursday.
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Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Subscription
Existing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Members:Xbox Live Gold is an included benefit of your existing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership.You can still redeem codes for Xbox Live Gold, but they will be converted to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at a standard conversion rate that may not align to local market RRPs.To redeem your code for Xbox Live Gold, and not Game Pass Ultimate, you will need to first cancel your Game Pass Ultimate membership at
Play together with Gold.
Gaming is better with Xbox Live Gold. Join the best community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network, where dedicated servers dedicated servers maximize performance, speed, and reliability. Get free games every month, worth up to $700 a year, and save up to 50-75% in the Xbox Store.
- Join the best community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network
- Get maximum performance, speed, and reliability with dedicated servers
- Experience better matchmaking with less waiting
- Enjoy competitive and cooperative gaming with franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza
- Get free games to play every month, worth up to $700 a year
- Save up to 50-75% on games in the Xbox Store
- Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 are also playable on Xbox One
Gaming is better with Xbox Live Gold.Join the best community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network. Experience the best in competitive and cooperative gaming across Xbox One and Windows 10.
Xbox Live Is Down Dealing With Sign
The problem isn’t something you can fix on your own.
Xbox users around the world are having issues signing into their Xbox Live accounts today, keeping players from accessing online features on their consoles.
As of now, it appears that this is only impacting the ability to sign in and not the actual online services of Xbox Live.
The official Xbox Status checker says that the account and profile portion of Xbox Live is suffering a major outage. This is affecting users on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, and PC.
It could also impact other Xbox services, but right now, the issue only appears to be disconnecting players who are already signed in and limiting the use of features that require sign-in, like most games, apps, and social activity.
We are aware that users may not be able to sign-in to Xbox Live at this time. Our teams are currently investigating to fix this issue. We will update here and on when we have more information to share!
Microsoft is aware of the problem and is looking into it. More details are going to be posted on the official Xbox Support Twitter account as the support team finds out whats impacting the services performance.
This article includes affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to Dot Esports.
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Outages Are Putting A Pause On Fun And Games
Xbox Live wasn’t the only Microsoft service experiencing some issues on Monday – Microsoft Teams went down as did Office 365 and Azure.
Microsoft claimed that the outage was due to an issue concerning, “a recent change to an authentication system” and has said that a fix is already going into place but has taken longer than expected.
All those services should be functioning normally now, but we’ll update the article again should any of them go offline.
What Is The Difference Between Xbox Live And The Xbox Network
If you’ve poked around the Xbox network, you’ll notice that it works just like Xbox Live did. That’s because the Xbox network is simply a renamed version of Xbox Live.
As such, everything you could previously do with Xbox Live, you can do with the Xbox network. The name change also does not bring about any additional features, either it’s still the same old Xbox Live you know and love, just under an unfamiliar name.
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Yearly Sub Removal From Xbox Store Not An Error
Microsoft has removed the option to purchase a 12-month subscription to its Xbox Live Gold service. While both one-month and three-month subscriptions remain purchasable, the full year sub has been scrubbed from Xbox stores across all territories.
When the removal was first discovered, some reports hypothesised that it was just an error on the Xbox stores part, but Microsoft has since sent a statement to True Achievements, confirming that the change is indeed intentional.
At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online store, reads the statement. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.
No reason has been offered for the yearly sub removal. With Microsofts Xbox Series X conference happening later this week, it will be interesting to see if this mysterious decision foreshadows an overhaul of sorts for the Xbox Live Gold service. Of course, the timing could be merely coincidental.
The Xbox Series X Games Showcase will take place July 23 at 09:00 PT / 12:00 ET / 17:00 BST.
What This Means For You
“At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online store,” said a Microsoft spokesperson to True Achievements. “Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
Discontinuing the 12-month subscriptions might be an effort on Xbox’s part to further amplify the value of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which currently sits at $14.99 per month.
It’s more than likely, due to this decision, that there will be more Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers than traditional Xbox Live subscribers since it’s only $5 more per month and nets people hundreds of free games as well as a cloud gaming service.
Xbox is gearing up for something, and given the company’s reputation thus far, we imagine that it’s going to be good for consumers. We’ll find out more closer to Xbox Series X’s launch.
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Xbox Live Outage Should Be Resolved Users Are Able To Sign In Again
: A short time ago, Microsoft reported that the ongoing Xbox Live outage should be resolved, and users should be able to sign in again.
: Nearly six hours later, Microsoft still hasn’t fully resolved the sign-in issues with Xbox Live. Some users are reporting the problem fixed.
: The initial account sign in issues have spread to affect most online portions of Xbox Live, including online multiplayer, cloud gaming, and game purchases.
Xbox Shakes Up Xbox Live Gold Subscription: What You Need To Know
Xbox is going all-in on Game Pass Ultimate
Microsoft has not only discontinued the production of the Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital consoles but also just discontinued 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
According to True Achievements, Microsoft confirmed that it’s not selling 12-month subscriptions and instead will only sell 1-month and 3-month subscriptions.
Microsoft Remove 12 And 24 Month Subscriptions To Xbox Live Gold Is The Service Winding Down
Microsoft have removed the 12 and 24 month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, leaving just the one and three months options. Microsoft have made the following comment to TrueAchievements:
At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.
Why are they removing the subs? The obvious rumour is that Xbox Live Gold is going to shut down, but Microsoft likely have more profit-based plans. Removing the 12 month sub means that the price for a full year of Xbox Live Gold is now £71.96, and since youre paying that much wouldnt you rather subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get access to the game subscription service as well?
There is other speculation from VentureBeats Jeff Grubb that Microsoft might be thinking to at least relax the requirement of Xbox Live Gold for free to play games, especially if leaks and rumours of Halo Infinite multiplayer being freetoplay end up being true.
Leaks from a listing on Smyths Toys have suggested that the multiplayer side of Halo Infinite will be going free-to-play when its released alongside the Xbox Series X later this year. The details have now been pulled, but were captured by and The Verge.
The games and their availability are as follows: