The requirement of purchasing a subscription in order to enjoy the entire suite of online options available on Xbox could soon be a thing of the past, it seems.
Prolific industry insider Klobrille – who has accurately leaked a number of details concerning Microsoft’s console in the past – appeared on a ResetEra thread discussing the company’s upcoming games showcase over the weekend, many of which heavily imply that paid-for services such as Xbox Live Gold are destined for the scrap heap. Responding to a previous comment speculating that Microsoft could intend to have Game Pass absorb Gold and combine everything into a single $10 monthly fee, Klobrille responded with the following:
Yea … No.
XBL Gold is an artificial barrier that prevents a frictionless ecosystem between consoles, PC, and xCloud. That’s why it’s a problem and significantly raising the entry cost for online multiplayer would only make the situation worse and practically kill their console online population.
When prompted to further elaborate, Klobrille concluded with: “The question is not if the online multiplayer paywall falls. The question is when.” Assuming all of the second-hand information up to this point turns out to be true, then, it would mark a colossal change to the way Microsoft generates revenue through the Xbox brand and would immediately give it a leg-up on Sony in regards to accessibility. On what’s now looking like a related note, the software giant recently confirmed that 12-month Gold subscriptions are no longer available – a surefire sign that it’s in the process of making some form of internal transition.
As for when fans can expect to receive a definitive answer on the topic, it could come as soon as later this week, July 23rd, when the long-awaited Xbox Series X games showcase takes place. Watch this space for further developments.