Update on 1/23/2021: Microsoft has since reverted the price hike following the backlash on social media platforms. All Xbox Live Gold membership plans are to remain the same prior to the planned adjustment. Microsoft has also taken the opportunity to remove the requirement for Xbox Live Gold to play free-to-play games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone.
Earlier today, on January 22nd, Microsoft and the Xbox Live Gold Team released an Xbox Wire post detailing some of the changes coming to Xbox Live Gold. Specifically, the Xbox Live Gold Team mentioned the changes in the pricing of various plans, all of which have now increased. The exact pricing, in US Dollars, is changing from $9.99 for one month or $24.99 for 3 months, to $10.99 and $29.99 respectively. Additionally, $59.99 will get Xbox Live users access to Gold for six months whereas previously it would get them a whole year. That’s right, Xbox Live Gold will now cost twice as much as it used to.
This surprising news earned tons of criticism as Xbox is the only platform to require a subscription to play free-to-play games. Accompanying that is the fact that no real perceivable changes are coming to the service. This combines to create a downright strange change coming from Microsoft’s corner.
If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at your current price.https://t.co/wFJmElI5dH
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) January 22, 2021
The only silver lining amidst this announcement is that those with upcoming renewing subscriptions will be billed the cost of their current plan one last time. That means this price hike only affects new subscribers at first, until after the renewal of current subscriptions where prices will then increase.