It’s looking increasingly likely that Microsoft will be retiring Xbox Live in the near future.
Beginning with the removal of 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions a few weeks back, users of the platform have become convinced that the service is in the process of being phased out, with the software giant itself subsequently confirming that the option’s disappearance was no accident. Only further adding fuel to the fire last month were rumours from various industry insiders that the entirety of the Xbox brand’s online multiplayer facilities would be going free-to-play alongside the launch of Xbox Series X and now, thanks to today’s developments, it’s looking as good as set in stone that big change is on the way.
As spotted by Wario64 over on Twitter, a recent update to Microsoft’s Service Agreement makes specific mention of the term Xbox Live being rebranded to “Xbox online service.” You can check out the amendment for yourself via the gallery below:
Just what, exactly, this will mean for existing Xbox Live subscribers going forward remains to be seen, though we imagine some form of migration period for those affected will take place in the near future. We know, of course, that Game Pass is here to stay, so it wouldn’t at all be surprising if one is converted into the other. What with the sheer amount of value that the latter offers, we imagine there wouldn’t be much, if any, fuss, from the consumer’s side.
As for Games With Gold, that’s an outlier that we’ll simply have to wait and see how Microsoft handles. It’s no secret that the promotion has lost its lustre in recent months, with Game Pass having essentially superseded it in every way. Regardless of the final outcome, though, we’ll be sure to keep you posted of any further developments, so stay tuned.