Microsoft has now backtracked its announcement and released a full statement in an updated blog post, expressing how they “messed up” and thanks fans for keeping them in line.
We messed up today and you were right to let us know. 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.
We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.
If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. 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.
For now, the prices will stay the same as Microsoft has taken a page from their competitors’ Sony and Nintendo’s online services, dropping its requirement for a subscription for free-to-play games. Popular free-to-play games such as Fortnite, are playable on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation without a subscription but not on Xbox without one.
In other gaming news, Elon Musk gives tentative “yes” to SpaceX video game developer.