Microsoft is raising Xbox Live Gold membership prices in certain markets in an apparent effort to turn more users into its Xbox Game Pass Ulimate, and the gaming community is not taking the news well.
Microsoft announced in a blog post on Friday that as it progresses, the new six-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will cost $ 59.99, while quarterly plans will cost $ 29.99 and one-month plans will cost $ 10.99.
That means a full year of Xbox Live Gold will cost nearly $ 120, twice the price Microsoft charged for the 12-month plans it quietly got rid of last year.
“We periodically evaluate the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional markets and continue to invest in the Xbox community; we will make price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in certain markets, “the company said.
However, the price changes will not affect existing Xbox Live Gold subscribers, as they will still be able to renew their current plans at the same price. Microsoft also allows players who upgrade to their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ̵
Microsoft also said that the new prices will start only 45 days after subscribers receive an email and a notification in the message center warning them of the increases.
The new prices drastically fill the gap between the annual subscription costs for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a sign that Microsoft is probably trying to encourage more users to sign up for the latter.
The move provoked a fierce reaction from the gaming community, which accused the company of not being involved in the economic situation of many customers during the pandemic, and of continuing to require them to pay subscriptions even to play free games like Fortnite and Call Of Duty: Warzone.
“@Xbox did this in the middle of a global pandemic, where children will be most affected, where finances are tight and online games are the main (sometimes the only) way to play and communicate with friends. Let it sink,” @ swooper_d tweeted.
“The Xbox still remains the only platform you need a subscription to play for free to play games, including Warzone,” said gaming news site Charlie Intel.
Others also pointed to significant price differences between the Xbox and other online gaming platforms.
“I’m still shocked at how there is now a $ 100 difference between getting Nintendo Switch Online in one year and Xbox Live Gold in one year,” tweeted @JCretor.
Membership for Nintendo Switch Online costs $ 19.99 and for Playstation Plus $ 59.99 for 12 months.
“We invest in our community by strengthening the digital security of our players, enabling new ways to share, communicate and play with our friends, and provide industry-leading reliability in our network,” Microsoft said as part of its rationale for raising prices. adding: “In many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold hasn’t changed in years, and in some markets it hasn’t changed in more than 10 years.”