Xbox Live Gold has been a gaming institution for nearly three gaming generations going all the way back to the Xbox 360 generation. However, with Game Pass continuing to take off and increasingly define the green brand, Xbox has decided to send it off into the sunset. On Monday, it was announced that Xbox Live Gold would become Xbox Game Pass Core, which will mean a few changes in benefits.
Xbox Wire has all of the information on Monday's announcement. Rates for the new Game Pass Core subscription will remain the same as its predecessor. Players can subscribe for $59.99 USD per year or $9.99 USD per month and receive access to online multiplayer across Xbox consoles and various member deals. However, one thing that's changing is the Games With Gold program. With the increasing value of the Xbox Game Pass Console, PC, and Ultimate memberships, Games With Gold's value has severely diminished. Largely because of that, Xbox is sunsetting the program, but is looking to replace it with something a little more substantial, as noted in today's Xbox Wire post:
We wanted to use this opportunity to re-imagine how to include content with this subscription. We found that the answer to the most compelling catalog was to leverage select titles from our Xbox Game Pass catalog.
Our launch collection of more than 25 titles from Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, and our content partners will offer something for everyone to play on their Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles. Today we're confirming the following titles for launch, with more to be announced in advance of September 14. New titles will be added 2-3 times a year.
The Xbox Game Pass Core collection will operate similarly to the various PlayStation Plus tiers, offering users access to a growing collection of titles. These include first-party games like Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, and Fallout 76, as well as third-party hits like Among Us, Inside, and Human Fall Flat. Games With Gold titles that were previously redeemed can continue to be accessed for as long as a user's Xbox Game Pass Core subscription remains active. However, any Xbox 360 Games With Gold title redeemed over the past two decades can be kept forever regardless of subscription status.
The Xbox Game Pass Core branding will officially take over on September 14, 2023. Games With Gold will be retired on September 1.