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On Saturday the platform holder reportedly changed the profile pictures of its social media accounts to a new logo which simply reads, “Game Pass.”
As spotted by Twitter user NotCassim, Microsoft has also removed ‘Xbox’ from its Game Pass community updates and more. However, the service’s Twitter username and handle remain ‘Xbox Game Pass’ for the time being.
Xbox Game Pass is also available on PC. Official profile pics have now also been changed on social media accounts to simply, ‘Game Pass for PC’.
Microsoft’s gaming division has pushed a platform-agnostic strategy in recent years and committed to releasing many first-party games across multiple devices. Differentiating the Game Pass brand from Xbox could help signal to consumers that they don’t necessarily need to buy an Xbox to use the service.
With Microsoft reportedly set to discontinue Xbox Live Gold, it’s possible that the platform holder is planning to incorporate all of its paid subscription features into Game Pass.
Last year Microsoft began bundling Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass in the form of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99/£10.99 per month and will also include Project xCloud when it launches in September.
Earlier this month Microsoft stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, fuelling speculation that the long-running service could be repackaged or phased out to coincide with the Xbox Series X launch this holiday season.
This was further strengthened by confirmation this week that Series X launch game Halo Infinite will have a free-to-play multiplayer mode. Currently, Xbox Live Gold is required to play multiplayer games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone online, which are free on other platforms.
While the platform holder is no longer offering an annual Xbox Live Gold membership option, one and three-month subscriptions are still available.
“At this time Xbox has decided to remove the 12 month Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store,” a company spokesperson said in July. “Customers can still sign up for a 1 month or 3 month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
As well as access to multiplayer gaming, Xbox Live Gold offers members two to four free games every month and discounts of up to 50% on Xbox One products on the Microsoft Store.
As of March 31, Xbox Live active users approached 90 million and Game Pass subscribers topped 10 million.