Over the past couple weeks a growing number of clues have seemingly pointed toward Microsoft possibly doing away with their paid Xbox Live Gold online gaming service. The company stopped selling 12-month XBL Gold subscriptions, the Microsoft Services Agreement replaced “Xbox Live Gold” with the term “Xbox online service,” and various usually-reliable insiders have straight-up said Gold is going away.
Well, don’t get too excited for a brave new world of free Xbox online gaming just yet. The folks at The Verge got in contact Microsoft, and they shot down the idea that Xbox Live Gold is going anywhere. Here’s what they had to say about the Microsoft Services Agreement changes…
The update to ‘Xbox online service’ in the Microsoft Services Agreement refers to the underlying Xbox service that includes features like cross-saves and friend requests. This language update is intended to distinguish that underlying service, and the paid Xbox Live Gold subscription. There are no changes being made to the experience of the service or Xbox Live Gold.
…and here’s what they had to say about discontinuing Gold specifically.
We have no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold at this time. It is an important part of gaming on Xbox today, and will continue to be in the future.
Well, that seems pretty cut and dried, but they did slip in that “at this time” out. Could Microsoft’s tune change in the coming months? As I previously speculated, it would certainly make a lot of sense for Microsoft to make Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which combines Game Pass and XBL Gold) their standard subscription for online gaming at some point, but we’ll have to wait and see if that ever happens.
Again I ask, what do you think? Would you be happy to see Gold go? Or would Microsoft’s online services suffer if they weren’t charging for them?
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