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No Changes to Xbox Live Gold Pricing, Free-to-Play Games to be Unlocked [Update]

longdi

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For all those avid Xbox fans who were trying to justify MS price change, remember to thank those who did the opposite.
I don't think it's about justifying or feeling good with price hikes. But as matter of fact thing. Alternatively, fans were lambasting game pass as too good to be true BS.

Imo the mistake here, was doubling the price, that's too much a sticker shock. A $10 increase makes more sense. Whoever did this prematurely, should be getting punished by Phil. The next price hike is now 1-2 years off. 🤷‍♀️
 
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aries_71

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Aug 26, 2007
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Seriously .. after 25+ years of dealing with corporate marketing teams from many different big companies...

that was the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen.

you have to think ... a price hike like that was months if not years of planning and consultants ... and then just to say “ whoops sorry” in less than a day??
/mind blown
You and me are getting old. This is the way millennials run things.
 

EventHorizon

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Jul 15, 2013
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Definitely planned this whole stunt for max PR and in the end look like the good guy in the end.
But they don't look like the good guys. They look like they got caught trying to price gouge their customers to pay for a Game Pass and game studio acquisition spending spree that is unsustainable. This puts to end once and for all the notion that Xbox has access to Microsoft's near bottomless pockets. Xbox has to show a profit just like every other part of Microsoft. When finances get tight, bad things happen.

Oh and NOBODY makes a major policy change at 11:52 PM ET on a Friday night for maximum PR. Anybody thinking different is deluding themselves.
 
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Bernkastel

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But they don't look like the good guys.
If the goal of Xbox was to look good to your circlejerk then I would be worried.
They look like they got caught trying to price gouge their customers to pay for a Game Pass and game studio acquisition spending spree that is unsustainable. This puts to end once and for all the notion that Xbox has access to Microsoft's near bottomless pockets. Xbox has to show a profit just like every other part of Microsoft. When finances get tight, bad things happen.
Its time to present those "its business" conspiracy theories again. No one knows whether it is or its not but here we are, people posting takes to fit their narrative.
 
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... there must be much more to this story. When was the last time a company officially doubled the price of a service/product and then within the same 24 hour news cycle negate/cancel said increase? Were they serious about doubling the price in the first place?

Sony execs were drumming u ideas of what to do with the hundreds of millions of dollars in extra cash floating around after msft gifts them a mere free $10 increase in transaction costs for consumers with PS+.

... a head scratcher in the very least.
 

Bittermich

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Sep 4, 2020
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Great. Doesn’t affect me at all, since I only buy gamepass ultimate.
Anyway, can Sony now reduce the price of their games from 90€ to 60€ as other games currently here?
 

Lone Denjin

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Somebody hit that big red damage control button lol

This reminds me of the time that they tried to sell us a Netflix box instead of an Xbox.
 
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.... B R U H ....

Not even 24 hours 🤣 Did they think April Fools was today? What country are they in to get the dates that messed up 😂?

Anyway...this is the right move, by far, and I'm glad they changed course this quickly. Though I'm curious if people who paid attention to the earlier news will even be made aware of this change...I mean, that price hike was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. I did a bit more looking and it seemed that if you were a current subscriber, as long as you renewed before your sub lapsed, you would be able to re-up at the regular rates which worked out well for current subscribers, but still wasn't a good move overall, particularly towards new people joining in the ecosystem.

I dunno if this switcharoo was planned from the start; something tells me it wasn't, and since the announcement's come this late the IGNs/Gamespots etc. probably won't be covering it for a bit, likely not until Monday. So the price hike is still going to be what most people think is the case, which is...not good. Whoever at Microsoft thought handling the price hike and announcement the way they did was a good idea, honestly deserves to be fired. It was that bad xD.

Good on them finally removing the paywall for FTP games but I think this change would hit a lot better if they made Gold free for all subscribers for three months to make up for the shitstain of the earlier news today (and the negative feedback it received). That'd get them trending for sure, this time for a good reason.
 

Shrap

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What about worldwide? Here in Australia the price increase is going ahead and the cards are being reduced to 1 month and 3 months only.
 
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GhostOfTsu

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Phil must have shat his pants just thinking about how he was going to sell this to his fans and explain it to the media on Monday. The imodium.
 

Shrennin

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Aug 3, 2007
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I’m not going to praise Microsoft for this.

I’m glad they listened and reverted, plus finally made it so F2P games are out of the multiplayer paywall, but the decision to price hike Gold like this is still a baffling and concerning decision.

Microsoft lost some trust from me today.
 

kyliethicc

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Mar 14, 2020
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.... B R U H ....

Not even 24 hours 🤣 Did they think April Fools was today? What country are they in to get the dates that messed up 😂?

Anyway...this is the right move, by far, and I'm glad they changed course this quickly. Though I'm curious if people who paid attention to the earlier news will even be made aware of this change...I mean, that price hike was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. I did a bit more looking and it seemed that if you were a current subscriber, as long as you renewed before your sub lapsed, you would be able to re-up at the regular rates which worked out well for current subscribers, but still wasn't a good move overall, particularly towards new people joining in the ecosystem.

I dunno if this switcharoo was planned from the start; something tells me it wasn't, and since the announcement's come this late the IGNs/Gamespots etc. probably won't be covering it for a bit, likely not until Monday. So the price hike is still going to be what most people think is the case, which is...not good. Whoever at Microsoft thought handling the price hike and announcement the way they did was a good idea, honestly deserves to be fired. It was that bad xD.

Good on them finally removing the paywall for FTP games but I think this change would hit a lot better if they made Gold free for all subscribers for three months to make up for the shitstain of the earlier news today (and the negative feedback it received). That'd get them trending for sure, this time for a good reason.
They got rid of yearly sub options months ago back in 2020, and had the new priced cards printed and shipped. It was real.

If someone tried to rob you.. and you caught them and said "don't do that" and they said "sorry I'll put your money back changed my mind"... would you trust them again?
 

bitbydeath

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It’s a shame this backlash didn’t happen when the online paywall first came into existence.
 
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EventHorizon

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If the goal of Xbox was to look good to your circlejerk then I would be worried.
So in your mind Microsoft made a major policy change at 11:52 PM ET on a Friday night in order to maximize their PR.


Its time to present those "its business" conspiracy theories again. No one knows whether it is or its not but here we are, people posting takes to fit their narrative.
It's not a conspiracy. It's math. Microsoft has to make up the many many BILLIONS they spent to buy game studios, and the hundreds of millions they'll spend developing their own games, and the untold millions they have to spend to get third party games. They'll have to make up all that money on a subscription service highligting console games that doesn't even target the largest console market. It's a subscription service that people can just pop in when a game they really want to play comes out, and then quit when done. So instead of paying $60, they pay $10-$30 instead. That's how you think MS will make back the billions it needs? That. Simply. Ain't. Happening!

There is a reason Xbox wanted to hike up the price of Xbox Live Gold so much. Occam's Razor says it's because they need the money.
 

Kerotan

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But they don't look like the good guys. They look like they got caught trying to price gouge their customers to pay for a Game Pass and game studio acquisition spending spree that is unsustainable. This puts to end once and for all the notion that Xbox has access to Microsoft's near bottomless pockets. Xbox has to show a profit just like every other part of Microsoft. When finances get tight, bad things happen.

Oh and NOBODY makes a major policy change at 11:52 PM ET on a Friday night for maximum PR. Anybody thinking different is deluding themselves.
They must be desperately hurting for cash back from the xbox division if they felt they had to pull this.
 
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Holy shit, was that just a troll move to gather attention all along?

Can guarantee you that was not a troll move, not when it immediately caused so much negativity it was trending on social media like Twitter and basically came off as financially insensitive to a lot of gamers who may be going through tough times with diminishing resources due to lockdowns and the such.

I kind of fear that the damage may have been done though; EventHorizon EventHorizon brings up a good point about the disconnect; something is off somewhere in the upper management of the Xbox division or maybe even with top brass like Satya (if he made the call here) when it comes to reading the room. The fact no one there saw the potential negative feedback this would get from their own customer base (let alone gamers and mainstream media at large) is just astounding in shortsightedness.

It's something I kind of felt going as far back as the May showcase where "gameplay" became a meme (even though I actually really liked the vast majority of what was shown at that showcase); it was subdued then but there were signs. Larger signs came with the July event and the Halo Infinite gameplay demonstration plus lack of actual gameplay for virtually any of their 1P games. Lack of smarter game release management (why not delay Bleeding Edge to make it a cross-gen launch game optimized for Series X and included with XBL Gold and/or Gamepass? Why not have Hivebusters ready for launch? etc.), and today's events just kind of blew it wide open IMO.

They can recover from the PR disaster today's news was, but this reversal of course is only just a start. They'll have to go above and beyond now to make up for the negative backlash of today, and I don't think there's a lot of time for them to do it. Seems like a decent bit of trust even from more hardcore fans (at least some of them) has been lost and that's going to take some time and serious effort to recover. Just getting basic parity with PS Plus (when FTP being truly FTP should've been a thing years ago) is not going to be enough.
 
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Kerotan

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This is a possibility too. Baiting sony? Now f2p games are free. MS Phil is the good guy still
I wouldn't say baiting Sony. As f2p games were always f2p on xbox. I'd imagine xbox live gold subs will fall even lower now. The warzone / fortnite crowd are no longer forced to sub.
 

Kerotan

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You really believe they printed and sent out 60 dollar 6-month codes to retailers already just for “TEH LULZ”?
Well it's enough to make it seem legit so who knows. Were they really that retarded to double the price during a pandemic?
 
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kyliethicc

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Depends though.

Lose a bit of money for printing cards, gain lots of street cred.

It isn't unusual to gain something by making a loss somewhere else.
Bro they started this like 4 months ago when they got rid of the $60 1 year Live option on their website, last year.

They just had to finally admit what they were doing now as they shipped the cards they planned months ago.

This was not some 4D chess move. They tried to fuck their customers over, got caught, and said "sorry" disingenuously and just quickly copied what PlayStation has been doing for years. Its a sign of a shady,weak, losing business desperate to catch up.
 

Derktron

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I’m glad they went back and changed their minds, what the hell were they thinking in a time like this when we’re still in a pandemic. In all I’m glad they changed their minds.
 

Larlight

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This is a possibility too. Baiting sony? Now f2p games are free. MS Phil is the good guy still

Nah none of this was planned. They literally sent cards out to retailers prepared to sell them to consumers. The backlash they received will be remembered more than the good that comes from reversing it. Remember the backlash that fucked MS over last gen? Even though they reversed all their shitty policies, it was too late. Of course this isn't as big but definitely adds up.
 
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Bernkastel

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So in your mind Microsoft made a major policy change at 11:52 PM ET on a Friday night in order to maximize their PR.
How do you even come to that conclusion when I posted this
That turnaround was so quick I can't help but feel this was a PR move.
Considering they now have to recall all the new 6 months cards they have shipped I doubt it.
It's not a conspiracy. It's math. Microsoft has to make up the many many BILLIONS they spent to buy game studios, and the hundreds of millions they'll spend developing their own games, and the untold millions they have to spend to get third party games. They'll have to make up all that money on a subscription service highligting console games that doesn't even target the largest console market. It's a subscription service that people can just pop in when a game they really want to play comes out, and then quit when done. So instead of paying $60, they pay $10-$30 instead. That's how you think MS will make back the billions it needs? That. Simply. Ain't. Happening!

There is a reason Xbox wanted to hike up the price of Xbox Live Gold so much. Occam's Razor says it's because they need the money.
And how do you know the math about their profits like how much they get from gold(minus free games), how much they for games to be on Game Pass, how much they make from their store? If you don't then its all speculation to fit a narrative attached with "Its math/business/economics" to make it look real.
 
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MS had this price hike planned for a reason. Aka, someone's gonna pay... sooner or later. Whether that be a Gamepass sub price hike some time when the dust settles or whichever ploy they come up with.

From the war of attrition pov, Sony continues to get the W on its competitor. They can't even produce consoles fast enough.

What a blunder.
 
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JerryinSoCal

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This was likely revenue they planned on bringing in so what's going to happen now? they'll figure out some other way to bring that money in that's the whole point they are in business they aren't here to be our friends no matter what Spencer says.
 
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I honestly just want to know who there was boneheaded enough to think rolling the change out the way they did was a smart idea. You don't need a business degree or years of industry experience to see how the idea of a price hike that massive itself (let alone the way they pushed it out) would result in anything but disaster.

It's a real shame because now it feels like their momentum has taken several steps back and they'll have to work overtime to regain lost ground. They just won't have a lot of time to do so; I'm hoping they can pull it off but if they're thinking simply reversing the plans and doing away with the paywall for FTP is enough then they will need to reconsider.

They got rid of yearly sub options months ago back in 2020, and had the new priced cards printed and shipped. It was real.

If someone tried to rob you.. and you caught them and said "don't do that" and they said "sorry I'll put your money back changed my mind"... would you trust them again?

Exactly, and that's actually the worst part of it: the lost trust. Rebuilding that trust is going to take time and/or a hell of a good round of solids. But it's up to Microsoft, specifically the Xbox division, to do that now and figure out what is best to do in rebuilding that trust. I have my own ideas on that:

-Free XBL Gold for current and new users for 3 months (let users choose the months)

-Free Gamepass Ultimate for current and new users for 1 month (let users choose the month)

-Some 1P gameplay for at least two AAA games (over time, but before Spring rolls in. Take a page from Sony and do 20-minute shows like for GoT)

-Some good surprises in terms of ecosystem exclusives announced and/or shown off (if with gameplay, even better) once the Zenimax deal is cleared

And that's probably maybe halfway there xD. They have to above and beyond now.
 
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Larlight

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I honestly just want to know who there was boneheaded enough to think rolling the change out the way they did was a smart idea. You don't need a business degree or years of industry experience to see how the idea of a price hike that massive itself (let alone the way they pushed it out) would result in anything but disaster.

It's a real shame because now it feels like their momentum has taken several steps back and they'll have to work overtime to regain lost ground. They just won't have a lot of time to do so; I'm hoping they can pull it off but if they're thinking simply reversing the plans and doing away with the paywall for FTP is enough then they will need to reconsider.

And I think the F2P paywall won't go away until a few months from now, so you know this was a panic decision.
 

onesvenus

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What about worldwide? Here in Australia the price increase is going ahead and the cards are being reduced to 1 month and 3 months only.
Are you sure about that? The Xbox blog doesn't mention any region at all
 

dvdvideo

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For those saying they have "lost trust" with ms - the market always did and always will control pricing. Both Sony and ms woukd charge $99 a game and $20 a month for live/ps+ if they thought they could get everyone to pay. So there's no trusting any game company - only the market driving the sales. Just look at Nintendo and thier "anti consumer" $60 remakes and no price drops for years - the market will pay it, so they do it.

So as far as Xbox gold and ps+, both ms and sony will be forced to consider the most the consumer will pay along with what the competition is doing. Eventually both will go up.
 
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And I think the F2P paywall won't go away until a few months from now, so you know this was a panic decision.
Welp tbqh they won't have a few months to get rid of the F2P paywall, that's gonna have to be instant. Eat the costs, do what you must to retain trust and build it back up.

It'll show how much they truly care about the Xbox division, I say. They ate costs to remedy the RROD with 360 simply to keep and retain player trust in the ecosystem and that was the right call. I don't think the events of today will have a potential threat on the brand to the degree that RROD posed in its time, but it could potentially have a significant impact and this time there's no weak Sony around to soften that potential blow. Microsoft has to do whatever it takes.