Tech News: Microsoft withdraws Xbox Live price hike: plans to add multiplayer support for few games.
In one of the early positive news dumps on Friday night, I recall, Microsoft not only reversed its ill-received plan to raise the price of Xbox Live, it also adds a surprise. Soon, for free-to-play games (like Fortnite or Apex Legends), access to multiplayer will be free, making the Xbox a much more attractive platform for gamers on a tight budget. Playing a game like Fortnite on PlayStation Network or PC has always been free, and now Xbox Live will do the same.
The plans announced today would have doubled the annual price for an Xbox Live Gold membership which adds a number of perks, but is primarily required for online multiplayer. Microsoft is pushing its extended membership which includes access to the Netflix-like Xbox Game Pass library, and the move would have brought prices closer for new members, but would have made it much more expensive to play on Xbox as a result. Now everything stays the same, but better.
To bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience, we’re removing the Gold requirements for free-to-play games.
We are starting to work on it immediately and will have updates in the coming months. Details: https://t.co/tWomNAwmp9
– Xbox (@Xbox) January 23, 2021
We made a mistake today and you did well to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of the game and we have failed to meet the expectations of the players who count on us every day. As a result, we have decided not to change the price of Xbox Live Gold.
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 no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to make this change happen as soon as possible in the coming months.
If you are already an Xbox Live Gold member, stay at the current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold at 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 12 months at retail.