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Microsoft says it "messed up" and cancels the Xbox Live Gold price hike

By Tim Augustin - on 26 Jan 2021, 12:38pm

Microsoft says it "messed up" and cancels the Xbox Live Gold price hike

Image: Microsoft

Hindsight is 20/20.

Microsoft has reversed course following its recently-announced Xbox Live Gold price hikes. The company had first announced that Xbox Live Gold prices would increase to US$11 for a month, US$30 for three months and US$60 for six months. Xbox explained, “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.”

This news was met with a lot of backlash online, especially since the company was increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold without adding to its value whatsoever. Some interpreted this move as a push for the pricier Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Live Gold features.

Less than 24 hours after the initial announcement, Microsoft stated that they, “messed up,” and decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing. In a blog post update, they said:

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.

Thus, Xbox Live Gold prices will remain at:

  • US$9.99 for a month.

  • US$24.99 for three months.

  • US$39.99 for six months.

Gamers did get a bit of good news out of this, however. In addition to reversing the price hike, Microsoft is also removing the need for an Xbox Live Gold membership to play free-to-play multiplayer games. This means that, just like PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold subscriptions are unnecessary to play free games like Apex Legends and Fortnite with friends. 

Microsoft is, “working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months,” so you might want to wait on renewing your Xbox Live Gold subscription if you’re into free-to-play games. Subscribers are getting a really strong lineup of free games in February, however: Gears 5 and Resident Evil (the 2002 remake). Both are great games, and the latter is perfect to tide you over until Resident Evil Village launches in May. 

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