On the weekend Microsoft announced a price hike for Xbox Gold. This price hike saw some massive increases across the board for all the one-month, three-month, and six-month Xbox Gold packages. The monthly subscription went to $10,99 and the three-month increased to $29,99. Users who opted for six-month would have to pay $59,99 which means those who subscribe for twelve months were looking to pay $120.
These price bumps came as a shocker to the community. Not only were they almost doubled but many users thought that the company would rather scrap the Xbox Gold package in favour of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which includes Gold service as well as instant access to 100 games.
Shortly after the mass backlash from gamers, Microsoft decided to reverse the price hike which almost doubled the monthly payments. In addition, Microsoft removed the need to have Xbox Gold when playing a free-to-play game such as Fortnite. This brings the service in line with others such as PlayStation Plus and the Nintendo Online Service.
In a blog post Microsoft released a statement saying:
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.
Microsoft most likely increased the price to nudge gamers towards Game Pass. However, it goes to show that some users out there would rather stick to buying games and paying for Xbox Gold than subscribing to Game Pass.