Microsoft has 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.
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 told Inverse. “Customers can still sign up for a 1 month or 3 month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
12-month Gold subscriptions are still available to purchase online elsewhere, for the time being at least.
Xbox Live Gold is required to play Xbox games online. It also offers members two to four free games every month, and discounts of up to 50% on Xbox One products on the Microsoft Store.
Last year Microsoft began bundling Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass, which offers access to over 100 console and PC games, in the form of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99/£10.99 per month.
Game Pass subscribers topped 10 million and Xbox Live active users approached 90 million during Microsoft’s third financial quarter ended in March 2020.
The company said on Thursday that it will launch Project xCloud in September and that the game streaming service will be available via its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription at no extra cost.
It also said this week that it will halt production of its Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition consoles.
In addition to Xbox Series X, Microsoft is expected to launch a second, less powerful next-gen console, likely called Xbox Series S.
The company will hold an Xbox Series X games showcase on July 23.