Update: Microsoft have since reversed their decision since this article was published and decided to keep their prices the same.
In July last year, Microsoft stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, and that looked like the start of something terrible, as the prices of all remaining subscriptions options are set to increase.
Posting on Xbox Wire, the Xbox Live Gold Team explains how the price of Gold hasn’t increased for years in many markets, but that from changes today. However, for existing subscribers on six-month and 12-month subscriptions: the price isn’t changing for you and you can renew your membership at the current price – take that silver lining.
For new subscribers, or those of you using the shorter subscription terms, a one-month subscription is now $10.99, a three-month subscription is $29.99, and a six-month subscription is $59.99. For our UK readers that makes the change: One month goes up from £6.99 to £7.99, three months goes up from £17.99 to £21.99, and six months goes up from £29.99 to £42.99. This means 12 months of Xbox Live Gold now costs £86. You can currently get 12 months for £49.99. I’m just going to let that sink in for a second.
What Microsoft would really like is for Gold members to switch over to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and that’s basically what is driving this incredible increase. With that in mind, Microsoft is offering to convert remaining Gold time to Ultimate if you choose to upgrade.
For those who pay monthly, they won’t notice too much of a change but for those who like to pay in bigger chunks, this increase really is painful to accept. During a pandemic where money is tight and we’re all stuck inside, this is quite a sour tasting move, and in a time where both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are hard to get hold of, this type of price lift could tempt players to jump to the other side.