This article was updated with UK pricing details at 16:53 GMT.
Microsoft has confirmed reports that it’s increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold by 50% for a six-month subscription.
Going forward, Xbox Live Gold’s new pricing will be one month for $10.99 / £7.99, three months for $29.99 / £21.99 and six months for $59.99 / £42.99, or the local market equivalent, the company said on Friday.
The price changes represent a $1 / £1 increase for a one-month Gold membership, a $5 / £4 increase for a three-month membership and a $20 / £13 increase for a six-month membership.
UPDATE 23/01: Xbox has made a shock U-turn on its plans to increase the pricing of Xbox Live Gold memberships.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: It means the USD price for an annual Xbox Live Gold subscription has effectively double compared to 2020 pricing, when a 12-month Gold subscription cost $60. Last year Microsoft stopped offering 12-month subscriptions.
It also means that one month of Xbox Live Gold now costs just $4 less than an Ultimate subscription, which includes access to Game Pass.
Microsoft said that users looking to upgrade their Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be able to convert their remaining Gold time directly to Ultimate.
Xbox Series X/S at retail
- Buy Xbox Series X at Amazon (US)
- Buy Xbox Series S at Amazon (US)
- Buy Xbox Series X at Walmart (US)
- Buy Xbox Series S at Walmart (US)
- Buy Xbox Series X/S at Best Buy (US)
“Periodically, we assess the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community,” Microsoft said. “In many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold has not changed for years and in some markets, it hasn’t changed for over 10 years.”
It added: “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 the current price.”
Members have already been notified in some regions and prices won’t adjust until at least 45 days after users receive the messages, Microsoft said.
In 2019, Microsoft began bundling Gold with its Xbox Game Pass subscription service in the form of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99/£10.99 per month and features on demand gaming and access to EA Play.
Microsoft claimed in September 2020 that Xbox Game Pass subscribers had topped 15 million and that Xbox Live had over 100 million monthly active users. It’s likely that the Gold price increases are partly designed to persuade Gold users to upgrade to the Game Pass sub.
Alongside the Gold pricing news, Microsoft announced February’s Xbox Live Games with Gold titles.