Microsoft reverses Xbox Live price hike, free-to-play games no longer require Live

Xbox Live Gold price increase

After announcing the first price hike to Xbox Live Gold in years last week, Microsoft has since reversed course and stated that no price increase will be coming to its online gaming service. Plus, Microsoft also decided to make free-to-play games truly free-to-play, removing the requirement for Live in order to enjoy games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and others.

Microsoft reverts course on Xbox Live increase, keeping current pricing

Late last week, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live Gold would increase in price by $1 per month, $5 per 3-months, and 12-month subscriptions would go away. Previously, you could pay $60 for 12-months of Live Gold, but under the new pricing, you’d pay $120 per year. This essentially doubled the cost of Xbox Live, and many gamers were rightfully upset.

Microsoft heard this and decided, within hours, to revert course. Late on January 22, Microsoft made the following statement, telling people that pricing would remain the same and Live Gold would remain $60 per year, instead of $120.

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.

Free-to-play games are now truly free-to-play

As stated above, you’ll see that Microsoft also noted something about free-to-play games. Previously, you’d need Live Gold in order to play games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and others. Well, that’s changing, though it’ll be slowly rolling out over the next few months. Essentially, if a game is free-to-play on Xbox, you won’t need any type of Live Gold membership in order to play online with your friends. I’m sure gamers all over will really like this, as many have a console for a few select games, many of which don’t cost anything. Plus, Warzone should be included at some point, which is still one of the most-played free-to-play games out right now.

9to5Toys’ take

This shows that Microsoft is really listening to its players. They published the announcement of Live Gold price increases at 6 A.M. However, they reversed course at 8:52 P.M. the very same day, just over 12-hours after the initial news hit. It’s good to see that large companies can still listen to their users and can reverse course, even when it impacts the company’s wallet.

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