Xbox Live Gold is getting more expensive, with Microsoft bumping up the price of its subscription gaming service. The fee adjustment for Xbox Live Gold – which includes online gaming, new game discounts, and more – will see the biggest hit on those who pay either monthly or quarterly for the service.
If you’re buying a 1 month Xbox Live Gold membership, for example, that is going up $1 over the current price. That means it’ll be $10.99 per month, or $12 more per year than you used to pay.
A 3-month Xbox Live Gold membership, meanwhile, is increasing $5. That means it’ll now be $29.99 for three months, or $20 more per year. It’s still, across the course of 12 months, a better deal than paying month by month, mind: $131.88 versus $119.96.
Six months of Xbox Live Gold subscription will remain the same, at $59.99. 12 month subscriptions were quietly removed last year for new sign-ups; however, if you renew your existing 6 or 12 month subscription then it will remain at the same price you’re paying. Those who upgrade Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, meanwhile, will have their remaining Gold subscription – up to 36 months – converted to Ultimate service, with no extra cost.
According to Microsoft, the decision to change the pricing is a natural reflection of how the market has shifted since it launched Xbox Live Gold.
“Periodically, we assess the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community; we’ll be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in select markets,” the company confirmed today. “In many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold has not changed for years and in some markets, it hasn’t changed for over 10 years.”
Nonetheless, it’s likely to come as a new frustration for gamers, especially those who are unwilling or unable to pay for six or twelve months of access to Xbox Live Gold upfront. Without the subscription, however, some of the most commonly-accessed features on the Xbox consoles won’t be available; indeed, it’s hard to imagine owning a recent Xbox and not opting to sign up for the companion online services.
Microsoft says that those affected by the changes – which won’t include all regions – will be informed directly, either already with a message center notification, or one popping up there over the course of the next month. Price adjustments will take place at least 45 days after that notification.