Microsoft Reverses Course On Xbox Live Price Increase

Microsoft Reverses Course On Xbox Live Price Increase
Image: Microsoft

Following widespread customer backlash, Microsoft released a statement walking back its Friday morning announcement of sweeping price increases for the Xbox Live Gold subscription service.

According to the details outlined in this morning’s announcement, the minimum yearly cost of Xbox Live Gold would have soared from $US60 ($78) to $US120 ($155). But at 11:52 p.m. ET, Microsoft posted an update to its announcement in which it appeared to reverse course.

“We messed up today and you were right to let us know,” the statement reads. “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. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.”

In addition, the statement announced that, reversing years of precedent, access to free-to-play games would no longer require an active subscription to Xbox Live Gold. The company will be working to implement that change in the coming months.

An active Xbox Live Gold subscription is required to play games online on Xbox consoles, and also unlocks monthly “Games With Gold” that can be played while the Xbox Live subscription remains active. And, until just now, access to free-to-play games.


  • I’m really confused, the earlier story has the price increasing by $1 dollar per month so how the hell does a yearly supcription go from $60 to $120, shouldn’t it be $72?

    So I went back to the earlier story and there is a line that both explains and doesn’t explain what is happening. There is a line that says that $60 used to be the yearly option but they are no longer offering a yearly option and the next option down is 6 months for $60, which I think explains where the $120 comes from.

    But how the hell can the price increase be both $1 per month and apparently a doubling in price (in the sense of half duration for same price point)

    • They used to sell yearly subs of XBL for around $60-70, but they removed those a while ago and instead only had 1 month, 3 and 6 month options.

      This change was going to increase the 6 month sub to $60 meaning one year was doubling in price.

    • Yeah it’s been reported in a confusing manner. I think the assumption is the people that would see costs doubling are those that paid for 12 months of Xbox live prior to the previous plan changes where Microsoft stopped issuing 12 month renewals. Those customers last paid $60 for 12 months, however had the new plans gone ahead those would have cost $60 per 6 months or $120 for 12 months. All USD.

      With this price hike not going ahead, the price seems to be remaining static at $40USD per 6 months so $80USD a year. That $40 for 6 months being the best offer MS sells direct today in the US.

      Note that the plans didn’t seem to be adjusted equally. The monthly plan was proposed to go up $1 a month, however a 3 month plan was going up $5 over the 3 months which is obviously more per month.

      It appears there is still a $60 USD option if you buy prepaid via a retailer too. Just seems to be MS not selling that period direct for some reason.


      “In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.”

      The other thing that wasn’t clear was what regions other than the US this even applied too. MS said some other regions may see an increase, but not all were guaranteed to.

      • I have wondered whether they stopped selling the 12 month option due to people using it to get 12 months or more of game pass ultimate. This worked as when you signed up for ultimate the first time as it converted any remaining gold time to ultimate, up to three years.

        So if you wanted to save about $200, you bought three years worth of twelve month xbox gold and upgraded it to ultimate.

        • That worked for a period, but for some time they’ve converted at a percentage of that rate. Currently you can convert a 12 month card to 5 months of ultimate

          They also still have 12 month ones at retailers. I’m guessing it’s part of making Game Pass look more enticing by having a discount on 12 months subs but not listing a discount for 12 months of Gold. Unsure but.

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