Microsoft Reportedly Discontinuing Xbox Live Gold, Making Multiplayer Free

Image via Epic Games

Further evidence that Microsoft has plans to scrap Xbox Live Gold memberships in favor of a new system is beginning to mount by the day. Last month, Xbox One owners noticed that the option to purchase a 12-month Gold subscription had suspiciously vanished from the list of options available to those seeking to take their hobby online, with the software giant later confirming that the one-year option had been removed intentionally.

It’s currently only possible, then, to sign up for a recurring monthly or quarterly membership, leading many to believe that the service is being gradually phased out in lead up to Series X’s launch later this year. The most popular theory thus far is that Microsoft intends to combine Gold membership and Game Pass into one all-encompassing purchase but now, it looks like the complete opposite could be true.

In a recent exchange with one follower on Twitter, VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb relayed the information that Xbox Live Gold isn’t being absorbed by Game Pass, but being retired completely. This, among other things, would mean that playing any game online would carry no additional cost. Game Pass Ultimate will remain, according to Grubb, but users won’t be forced to pay for the service in order to make full use of multiplayer options.


This would certainly account for the apparent scaling back of Xbox Live options, of course, and to a lesser extent, perhaps why Games With Gold has seemingly become an afterthought for Microsoft. Near to the entirety of 2020’s free games under the promotion’s banner have been met with near-universal derision from fans, with August’s, in particular, getting lambasted on social media not long after they were revealed.

Tell us, though, are you all-in on this supposed new direction for Xbox, or would you rather things stay as they are? Let us know in the usual place below!