What Xbox Game Pass Core Means For Xbox Live Gold Subscribers

The original Xbox Live service launched in 2002, eventually transitioning to the tier-based membership we know with the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005. Despite multiple new consoles released since then, Xbox Live, particularly the Xbox Live Gold tier, has remained a constant necessity for connecting to the internet with your Xbox console. However, Microsoft has some major changes for its online framework in the pipeline, one of which will be overhauling this long-standing service.

Today, Microsoft announced that it is formally retiring the Xbox Live Gold subscription and, in its place, is launching Xbox Game Pass Core, a new economy tier of the Game Pass service that doubles as a network subscription. This new service will be launched on September 14 of this year and is slated to cost $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year for individual users. It won't be the same as the subscription it replaces, however.

What this means for Xbox Live

According to Microsoft's announcement, all current Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be automatically converted over once Xbox Game Pass Core begins service. There will be no change in pricing, and Core members will still get access to (mostly) the same features and discounts offered with Xbox Live Gold. Network service is also included in the Core subscription, allowing console subscribers to play games online. Generally speaking, Game Pass Core will carry over most of Xbox Live Gold's features.

The only major change is that the release of Core will signal the end of the Games with Gold feature, wherein Xbox Live Gold subscribers could claim free games every month. Any Games with Gold titles subscribers previously claimed will still be playable- Xbox One titles will be available as long as a user is subscribed to Core, while Xbox 360 titles will remain in a user's library.

Incidentally, it is unknown how this changeover will affect converting Xbox Live Gold subscriptions to Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, which recently saw a devaluation from the previous 1:1 to a 3:2 ratio.

Game Pass Core library

Instead of Games with Gold, Game Pass Core will offer a library of games published by Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios and its other subsidiaries like Bethesda. Like with the Game Pass service we've come to know, Core subscribers can freely access any of the titles included in the library on any Xbox console, provided they remain subscribers.

The initial launch collection for Game Pass Core is slated to include over 25 titles, 19 of which have been revealed with Microsoft's announcement. The currently-confirmed games include: 

  • "Among Us" 
  • "Descenders" 
  • "Dishonored 2" 
  • "Doom Eternal" 
  • "Fable Anniversary" 
  • "Fallout 4" 
  • "Fallout 76" 
  • "Forza Horizon 4" 
  • "Gears 5" 
  • "Grounded" 
  • "Halo 5: Guardians" 
  • "Halo Wars 2" 
  • "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" 
  • "Human Fall Flat" 
  • "Inside" 
  • "Ori & The Will of the Wisps" 
  • "Psychonauts 2" 
  • "State of Decay 2" 
  • "The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited"

More titles will be added to the Core library roughly 2-3 times yearly.