Following heavy criticism of the change, the Xbox team has announced that it will not be increasing the price for its Xbox Live Gold subscription service. ‘We messed up today and you were right to let us know,’ the company said in its update on the matter. Instead, the company says you’ll no longer need Xbox Live Gold to play free-to-play games on Xbox consoles.
Xbox Live Gold is the subscription that gives Xbox owners access to the platform’s multiplayer network — meaning if you want to play with others online, you’ll need to sign up. On Friday, Xbox announced that prices for the subscription would be increasing to $10.99/month, $29.99/quarter, and $59.99/half-year.
As you’d expect, console owners weren’t happy about the change and many journalists pointed out that this wouldn’t be a good deal compared to other platforms on the market, making the Xbox far less appealing than Sony’s PlayStation consoles. Meanwhile, PlayStation owners were quick to demand that Sony avoid making the same price increase for its PlayStation Plus subscription.
Only hours later, the decision to increase Xbox Live Gold was reversed, with Microsoft stating, “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.”
Instead of the price increase, Xbox owners will be getting a new perk similar to the one already offered by Nintendo and Sony: you won’t need the subscription to play free-to-play games like Fortnite. “We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months,” Microsoft said.