Microsoft walks back its previously announced price hike for Xbox Live Gold subscription

Plus, free-to-play titles won't need the Gold sub soon

    
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Much of the online multiplayer gaming world was lit on fire by Microsoft earlier this week when the company attempted to raise the cost for Xbox Live Gold subs, ramping up the one-month, three-month, and six-month subs by $1, $5, and $20 respectively.

Microsoft attempted to rationalize the price change by pointing out the sub prices hadn’t changed for years, while also offering those who move from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate would see their remaining time left on the Gold subscription carry over to Ultimate. However, the announcement received almost universal outcry from players, causing the company to almost immediately rescind the decision.

“We messed up today and you were right to let us know,” opens the post announcing the redaction. “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.”

In the spirit of that idea of bringing friends together, Microsoft further announced that free-to-play titles will no longer require a membership to Gold. The change to this requirement is being worked on and should be live in the next couple of months.

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Mark Mealman

This fiasco ended up pushing me back into PC gaming. Between no inventory on series X(and the rampant scalping), craptastic console launches and games/expansions pushing back dates on consoles, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

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zoward

I wonder if this means we won’t need a sub to play ESO?

Leo
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Leo

so many rate hikes to various online things last year and now this attempted one. It’s like these companies don’t see we are in a huge economic downturn and a continuing pandemic that is affecting the entire world.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

They’re too busy seeing that everyone is locked inside and imagining that they can rake in unlimited profits from subscriptions. It’s actually a major reason I deeply hate things like the recent announcement that a ton of stuff is going straight to streaming.

If I want to watch a movie in theaters, I can plan ahead and set aside the ticket price, and see whichever movies I like from every studio. But if *each* of them has carved off their stuff into their own private streaming service for $20 per month? Yeah, I can’t afford that. Especially not when a couple have proved that they’re perfectly willing to throw a “premium access” fee *on top* of the streaming subscription. ($30 for live action Mulan? Seriously?)

It’s a system that can’t stand for long. Even at the best of times people don’t have unlimited money to pay for subscriptions. Doubly so now. And honestly, I hope it blows up in the companies faces so hard it kills some of them.

Leo
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Leo

I would try to take advantage of all this opportunism in the opposite way though, offer some deals for like 3 month or 6 month subscriptions, super cheap. Get people used to the service.

And part of that is because there are probably many people right now having to look at things they can cut from their budgets. With so many having trouble paying rent and/or out of a job, cutting these online services are easy. And that can lead to people looking at other places. There are some free alternatives to video streaming out there for example (besides Youtube). Yeah many of them are not as good and you do get ads.

Plus plenty of free to play games that have become really popular. I think this is more misguided greed that luckily at least here was withdrawn.

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Stormwaltz

Dog comic by cupcakelogic, edited by biggustiggus:

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XanadoX

It would be great to know how it happened.
Someone made an announcement not ready to be revealed?
Microsoft was testing the waters of gamer by issuing a non approved statement?

As @Ironwu has written, it wasn’t even a logic move.

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Ironwu

Somebody should send Microsoft execs back to grade school for some basic mathematics education. Because no one in their right mind would pay anything more than a 1 month subscription at what those proposed new rates were.

The 1 month subscription($11) was going to be only $1 a month more than the other subscriptions. And after the change, the 3 month and 6 month would have been exactly the same price ($10) on a per month basis.

Sheesh. They have so little respect for their customers it is mind boggling.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Yeah, I was trying to wrap my head around the math. I assumed that (since I don’t know the subscription prices to begin with) they must be doing the normal thing where per-month is actually the worst deal and costs way more, with increasing discounts for the larger bundles. And even then, the discounts would have to have been pretty big to still be discounted with the new prices. o.O

I can only guess that someone wanted to push customers off of paying for the multi-month Live bundles entirely and into the Game Pass system (where you can play lots of stuff… as long as you pay the subscription every month. And lose access to all of it the instant you stop.)

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zoward

Yeah that’s pretty much it. Right after they announced it I went to live.com, cancelled my sub and removed my credit card from my account. It sounds like I’m not the only one.