Microsoft, a 1.3 trillion dollar company, is doubling the price of Xbox Live Gold.
In an official news release, Microsoft said that they’ve “assessed the value and pricing of their services” and will be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in select markets. Here’s the full breakdown:
If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at your current price.
The price of a 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.
If you’d like to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate your remaining Gold time will also convert directly to Ultimate (up to 36 months). For example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold now, and you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no additional cost.Update on Xbox Live Gold Pricing, Xbox.com
Microsoft also points out in the blog that 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”. While this may be true, we are also still in a pandemic where many people are out of work – and many more are using video games as an escape to cope with a seemingly endless deluge of horrors that beats against our doors every damn day.
To recap, here is Xbox Live’s new pricing model:
- One month of Xbox Live Gold: $11, an increase of $1
- Three months of Xbox Live Gold: $30, an increase of $5
- Six months of Xbox Live Gold: $60, an increase of $20
By comparison, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which includes Xbox Live Gold) is $14.99 per month. Right now, you can even convert to XGPU for $1 for the first month (or the entirety of your remaining Gold subscription) and even receive two more months for free.
There’s no secret here that Microsoft is trying to close the gap between Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate in an effort to push consumers towards the latter subscription. It is by far the better deal, and is still one of – if not the best deal in gaming. However, there was simply no reality that a price hike like this was going to be received well considering the current climate.
As an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate customer, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but as Microsoft continues to acquire developers and build out its exclusive portfolio and third-party library on Game Pass – it only makes sense that a price increase was going to happen eventually.
At least we know the value of this membership is going to continue to improve, and that Xbox Live’s prices aren’t increasing every year practically without warning or any service improvements*.
*cough* Netflix and Xfinity.