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The USD price for an annual Xbox Live Gold subscription could be about to effectively double compared to 2020 pricing, it’s been claimed.
That’s according to a pair of yet-to-be-verified images, which allegedly show updated retail cards with a new $60 price tag for six months of Xbox Live Gold. Before Microsoft discontinued it last year, a 12-month Gold subscription was sold for the same amount.
The images were posted by two separate Reddit users on Thursday, who both claimed they worked for a major retail chain.
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: One user wrote: “These cards came in today for the new 6 months cards for Xbox Live Gold. Notice the price tag.” The other said: “I work at a certain video game retailer. This came in with an incoming shipment.”
Currently, six months of Xbox Live Gold is priced at $40, three months costs $25 and a single month is $10. Last year Microsoft stopped offering 12-month subscriptions, which sparked speculation that it could be planning to make changes to the service – although it insisted it had no such plans.
VGC has contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this story when we receive a response.
Gold also offers subscriber benefits such as purchase discounts and monthly free games that can be kept permanently.
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.
It’s possible the company could be planning to roll some of Ultimate’s features into Gold as part of an increased price, but Microsoft has not suggested it has any plans to do so.
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. And in November, it claimed that 70 percent of people who bought Xbox Series X and S at launch had a Game Pass subscription.
While the platform holder is no longer officially 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 VGC last August when asked about the change. “Customers can still sign up for a 1 month or 3 month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”