Xbox Live Gold costs will remain the same after Microsoft reverses course

After less than 24 hours of backlash, Microsoft has walked back a decision to increase the price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.


Earlier today, Microsoft upset thousands of potential Xbox Live Gold subscribers by announcing that the company would raise the base cost of new subscriptions. The outcry has been so vociferous that they decided to abandon those plans late Friday evening. It now appears that the cost for a Gold subscription will remain in place.

The announcement comes courtesy of Xbox Games Marketing GM Aaron Greenberg on Twitter, who states that not only will Xbox Live Gold memberships remain at their current price, but free-to-play games will no longer require a subcription. The statement reads as follows on the Xbox website:

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.

This is a complete reversal from what was announced on Friday morning, which originally raised Gold subscription prices by nearly double for a 12-month package. This was in spite of nothing changing about the core Gold service itself. There was speculation that this was an effort to entice users to upgrade to the Xbox Game Pass service. The Ultimate package goes for $14.99 USD each month.

We did note in our original story that Microsoft could reverse its decision with enough user backlash. Who knew that reversal would come in less than 24 hours? Xbox Live Gold members, go about your business. Nothing left to see here. Shacknews will continue to follow this story and everything else happening with Xbox and will report back with any further updates.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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