Update: Microsoft quickly reversed course after public outcry, and announced on Friday night that they won’t be changing Xbox Live Gold’s price at the moment. Here’s more on that story.
Microsoft announced today that they’re raising the prices on some of their tiers of Xbox Live Gold memberships.
These price changes reflect Microsoft assessing “the value and pricing” of their services across all their markets, though only select ones will see a price change. The new hikes will raise 1-month memberships by a dollar to $10.99, and boost 3-month memberships up five bucks to $29.99 USD. Six-month memberships now sit where year-long ones were at $59.99 USD. This will effectively double the cost of a year’s subscription.
For now, if you’re a six or 12-month Gold member, your subscription will renew at the same price it has before. So as to not completely surprise anyone either, messages have been sent out to users in markets that will be affected and the price changes will not take place until “at least 45 days after you receive the messages.”
You can also upgrade your existing Gold subscription to a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Game Pass Ultimate, a combination of their Gold and Game Pass subscriptions, launched last year after the success of Game Pass as a standalone service and to bring in even more subscribers with a bargain.
This shrewd move seems to be an attempt on Microsoft’s part to position Game Pass Ultimate as the best deal for their players. By more competitively pricing Gold with Game Pass Ultimate, the hope is to probably convince users to make the slightly bigger jump to get more bang for their buck.
Simultaneously, this move now puts Xbox Live Gold, which will now cost you $120 USD a year, in stark contrast to its most immediate competition, PlayStation Plus, which still only runs a user $59.99 USD for a year long subscription.
While Gold may not be done for yet, this is one of Microsoft’s more definitive moves in the direction of abandoning it for something else altogether.