Microsoft Refutes Rumors That Xbox Live Gold Service Is Being Discontinued
Several events occurred over the past few weeks that fed these rumors. First, Microsoft changed their terms of service, using the phrase “Xbox online service” instead of “Xbox Live”. This caused many Xbox Live users to speculate that Microsoft would be renaming or eliminating Xbox Live. However, a Microsoft representative stated that this was not their intent when they used the phrase “Xbox online service.” A representative remarked, “This language update is intended to distinguish that underlying service, and the paid Xbox Live Gold subscription.”
Second, Microsoft also recently stopped selling 12-month subscriptions for Xbox Live Gold. They instead only offer one-month or three-month options. Many argued that Microsoft was planning to get rid of Xbox Live Gold altogether. The above mentioned representative noted, “We have no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold at this time. It is an important part of gaming on Xbox today, and will continue to be in the future.”
There still remains one persistent rumor that has been neither confirmed nor denied. Some believe that Microsoft may eventually get rid of subscription fees for online multiplayer mode. This rumor has been supported by the fact that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode will be free. Is Halo Infinite an exception? Will only Halo Infinite PC gamers get access to online multiplayer mode for free? It appears that Microsoft currently does not intend to rename or get rid of either Xbox Live or Xbox Live Gold, but a future free subscription is not completely off the table.
It will be especially interesting to see how the subscription tiers evolve with the release of next-generation consoles and new kinds of services. Microsoft recently announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will soon be able to access Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service. This service will be a free add-on and should be available September 15th.