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The change is specifically mentioned in a new list of updates to the Services Agreement, stating that “in the Xbox section and throughout the Terms, we’ve updated the Xbox heading [and] changed Xbox Live to refer to Xbox online service”.
However, at the time of publishing Xbox Live is seemingly still mentioned in some parts of the agreement.
Microsoft has also changed mentions of Xbox One and Xbox 360 to “Xbox consoles,” which suggests the company could just as likely be simplifying its language as suggesting any major change to its services.
Nonetheless, the timing of the service agreement update coincides with reports that Xbox Live Gold will soon be retired and multiplayer made available for free.
Last year Microsoft began bundling 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.
And last 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 launch of Xbox Series X.
This was further strengthened by confirmation last 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. “Customers can still sign up for a 1 month or 3 month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”