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Xbox Removes Yearly XBL Gold Subscription | Is Free Multiplayer Coming?

Is Free Multiplayer Coming to Xbox?

  • Yes

    Votes: 101 28.9%
  • No Way

    Votes: 249 71.1%

  • Total voters
    350
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Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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Not everyone has time to play more than 3 games are year if not that.

There are a ton of people who only buy no more than 2 games a year. If they have to get Gamepass for online that's a bad deal for them. If online is free for them then that's a ton of Gold money Microsoft is letting go of.

The idea would be converting them to GP with their remaining gold subscription to give them a taste imo and hope they don't cancel.
 

Roufianos

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May 14, 2015
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I'd be highly surprised if this was true, subscription revenue is a huge focus for MS.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Jan 26, 2016
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Was there ever a breakdown of how much Microsoft actually netted from Gold? I have to imagine adding GWG didn't help it continue but they also did raise the price at some point.
 

jaysius

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Oct 3, 2019
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It probably aligns with their vision for Game Pass.

The Xbox Game Studios are basically going to focus on not AAA but AA games with a huge focus on multiplayer and microtransactions.

:(
Yup, Forza Horizon 4 was the test case, one big atta boy simulator to get you to spend money and buy the dlc.
 

JLB

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Dec 6, 2018
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I'd be highly surprised if this was true, subscription revenue is a huge focus for MS.

And Sony, Nintendo, Apple, Google, Amazon and pretty much every company. These kind of stable flows of revenues are music for corporate exec ears.
 

Mmnow

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Jun 16, 2020
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Yup, Forza Horizon 4 was the test case, one big atta boy simulator to get you to spend money and buy the dlc.

But Horizon 4 wasn't AA, nor did it pressure you into microtransactions. I'm not sure I even saw multiplayer, outside of leaderboards.

Maybe I'm not a typical player, but if that's the test case, give me more of that.
 
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Dec 22, 2019
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It's a short term loss for something that will attract more customers and will undoubtedly bring more people into the eco-system. As they build up Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate with xCloud, once they get a certain number of subs that "loss" is something that disappears. Also, with things like micro transactions and many more consumers going digital (thus giving MS more money) a small subscription service loss for a year or so will be nothing as revenues from the store and Game Pass will increase

Assuming Gold is dropped and MS hopes as many people resub with GP or GPU, the starting revenue loss would be this without factoring in resubs at GP/GPU prices.

Likely what's happening is MS combining Gold with gamepass. You'll still need gamepass to play online but it helps consolidate their subscription services and helps grow gamepass as well. Even the hardcore Xbox gamer is going to have trouble justifying multiple subscriptions and will likely choose the online paywall over gamepass when it comes time to renew.

This move makes more sense with MS strategy over the years of keeping their core gamers satisfied within their ecosystem (gamepass, BC, powerful hardware with One X & Series X, etc)
 

deriks

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Dec 21, 2013
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Not everyone has time to play more than 3 games are year if not that.

There are a ton of people who only buy no more than 2 games a year. If they have to get Gamepass for online that's a bad deal for them. If online is free for them then that's a ton of Gold money Microsoft is letting go of.
A person could get US$60 games every week they could, and those are not really the market for GamePass.
A person could get US$60 from time to time, and those work with GamePass.
A person who has more time and less money work with GamePass.

Options, man. It's good to have.

Also, Games with Gold will be cancelled, and paying just for online should be Nintendo Online level of price tops. Make online for free, like PC always have been, and GamePass as the charging thing, is the best choice
 

xStoyax

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Oct 29, 2017
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Updated OP with latest podcast with Jeff Grubb & video with highlights on why he says Microsoft is killing Xbox Live Gold & Making Online Free

 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Jan 26, 2016
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Updated OP with latest podcast with Jeff Grubb & video with highlights on why he says Microsoft is killing Xbox Live Gold & Making Online Free


Huge PR win if it ends up being true. Plus a great thing for gamers.
 
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Vawn

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Feb 20, 2018
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Remember when PS3 online was free and Xbox 360 was paid? It didn't seem to help PS3 much. And PS4 requiring paid online didn't seem to hurt much.

With that information, it seems very odd Microsoft would drop the subscription fee for an advantage against PS5. If they do, they must have a ton of confidence all those people will get GamePass either way and want the subscription fees to be less confusing.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Jan 26, 2016
11,621
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915
Remember when PS3 online was free and Xbox 360 was paid? It didn't seem to help PS3 much. And PS4 requiring paid online didn't seem to hurt much.

With that information, it seems very odd Microsoft would drop the subscription fee for an advantage against PS5. If they do, they must have a ton of confidence all those people will get GamePass either way and want the subscription fees to be less confusing.

It didnt hurt because it became the norm for a lot of folks. A lot of 360 people jumped shipped and were more than OK with it.
 
Nov 5, 2017
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If gold goes away what will happen to the xbox one games with gold games? The 360 games we get to keep but the xbox one games were only available while paying for gold.

EDIT: nm, read the question wrong. I can't imagine them taking away people's games with gold.
 
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reinking

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I would love it if both companies did away with paying to play online but I do not see MS leading that charge. They are a service company and always have been. They brought pay to play online to the market. I doubt they are the ones that will roll it back. Don't they even require Gold for free to play games and Sony does not require PS+ for those?
 

Mmnow

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Jun 16, 2020
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Getting rid of Gold would definitely be a mic drop moment.

I currently have a few years of Gamepass Ultimate, a year of PS Now and about the same of PlayStation Plus.

I'd love to see Plus and Now combined, and all the movements on the Microsoft side might just make it happen. Can't justify Now on its own usually, but absolutely would keep paying for it through Plus, even if online gaming was made free.

And Nintendo being Nintendo, they'll drop their online fees in about a decade as well - about the same time they bring N64 games to the Switch. 😢
 

Bumblebeetuna

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Jun 23, 2008
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This only makes sense if they are making it free or rolling it into GamePass. The first is phenomenal for consumers, the second not so much, unless they replace $59.99 12 month Gold options with $59.99 12 month GamePass options.

Maybe GamePass is the new $10/month $60/year service and includes online MP, and GPU remains $15 a month because it’s that damn good.
 
Nov 5, 2017
185
108
245
Remember when PS3 online was free and Xbox 360 was paid? It didn't seem to help PS3 much. And PS4 requiring paid online didn't seem to hurt much.

With that information, it seems very odd Microsoft would drop the subscription fee for an advantage against PS5. If they do, they must have a ton of confidence all those people will get GamePass either way and want the subscription fees to be less confusing.

I think Microsoft simply sees the writing on the wall, today's environment is much different than back then. Developers are making more f2p games, eliminating season passes etc. MTX revenue is big and only getting bigger. The growing trend in the industry is to remove barriers to entry for multiplayer. I think the practice of charging for multiplayer access makes a lot less sense these days and Microsoft is anticipating it is only going to make even less sense in the future. So if you know you will have to do it eventually, you might as well do it on the eve of a new console launch.
 

Jigsaah

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Jan 31, 2018
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My Xbox Live runs out July 22nd. They better have somethin good for me on the 23rd.
 

KAL2006

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A person could get US$60 games every week they could, and those are not really the market for GamePass.
A person could get US$60 from time to time, and those work with GamePass.
A person who has more time and less money work with GamePass.

Options, man. It's good to have.

Also, Games with Gold will be cancelled, and paying just for online should be Nintendo Online level of price tops. Make online for free, like PC always have been, and GamePass as the charging thing, is the best choice

I was replying to someone saying Gold should be free cause everyone will be on Gamepass anyways. What I'm saying is that wouldn't work cause there is a massive customer base that only play COD, FIFA etc and those customers would not get Gamepass and get free online which is a massive loss in revenue for Microsoft.

As for the other way round which I think could potentially happen Gold is free with Gamepass and option for Gold 12 months is discontinued meaning those customers have to pay more unnecessarily just to play their COD, FIFA online.
 

Mmnow

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That would suck. I have no interest in subscribing to PS Now.

So if its the same price but with streaming and no cost for online, you'd be disappointed?

At that point you unsubscribe or just use the features you use now at no extra cost?
 

Jigsaah

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I dunno, this seems kinda off. If they bundle it with gamepass for say like, games with gold and discount benefits, then I guess it's ok? The would need to make Xbox Live Silver able to play multiplayer though. Otherwise it's going to be perceived as a money grab. They were doing fine with the options. I don't wanna feel coerced to buy gamepass just to have multiplayer.
 

Blond

Banned
Dec 10, 2019
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Nah it wont go free. I think its all going to be molded into Gamepass Ultimate probably.

This is the only real answer, Gamepass already has an Xbox live sub and Microsoft is all about that "games as a service" model, expect nothing more/less.
 

Jeeves

Member
Dec 7, 2008
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How wild would it be if it turned out that they introduced the subscription model, waited until everyone else started doing it, and then stopped theirs to make everyone else look bad? Not saying that was the plan all along, or that I even think this is true, but it'd be pretty funny.
 

Vawn

Banned
Feb 20, 2018
9,355
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So if its the same price but with streaming and no cost for online, you'd be disappointed?

At that point you unsubscribe or just use the features you use now at no extra cost?

If it was the price of just PS+, of course I'd be all for it. But there's zero chance of that.
 

Mmnow

Member
Jun 16, 2020
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If it was the price of just PS+, of course I'd be all for it. But there's zero chance of that.

So what do you reckon in this scenario, then? Microsoft ditches paying for online, forcing Sony to follow suit.

And then what? Microsoft have Gamepass and free online, Sony have the weaker service in PS Now and a now redundant Plus.

In this completely imaginary series of events, i can't see them getting rid of Plus. So how else do they add value?
 

VincentMatts

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Aug 21, 2014
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I'd be highly surprised if this was true, subscription revenue is a huge focus for MS.

They do still have game pass regular and ultimate. Xbox live being free would be a good move.

Xbox live not being free and only having 1 months and 3 months would be to force you to get gamepass. That seems kind of a low ball Move.
 
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smbu2000

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Mar 6, 2012
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I guess that there's no reason to continue charging

Live Gold you get like two games or something for the month and you keep those games while you have subscribe. You get GamePass with a whole catalog and you're fine. Way better choice
Gamepass is better overall, but the good thing about games with gold is that they stay in your library forever (while subscribing to gold) so you don’t have to worry sbout them disappearing from your library like they can/do on gamepass.

I have Ultimate, but before that I used Gold for a long time, so I have a lot of games with gold in my library.
 

Agent X

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I'd love to see Plus and Now combined, and all the movements on the Microsoft side might just make it happen. Can't justify Now on its own usually, but absolutely would keep paying for it through Plus, even if online gaming was made free.

I'm not sure what the point would be. As it stands now, PS Plus and PS Now combined cost less than Game Pass Ultimate. Forcing PS Plus and PS Now to merge into a single service would do nothing to benefit the consumer...it would just eliminate the choices for people like Vawn Vawn above who only want one service and not the other. A merged service would cost these users more than what they were paying previously.

So what do you reckon in this scenario, then? Microsoft ditches paying for online, forcing Sony to follow suit.

And then what? Microsoft have Gamepass and free online, Sony have the weaker service in PS Now and a now redundant Plus.

In this completely imaginary series of events, i can't see them getting rid of Plus. So how else do they add value?

If Microsoft were to make online play totally free, with no strings attached, then Sony and Nintendo would likely do the same.

Sony would probably make some tweaks to PS Plus, since it would no longer be required for online play. If Microsoft consolidates to a single subscription, then Sony could follow suit, and (despite what I said above) merge PS Plus with PS Now, since it would be still be cheaper than Microsoft's offering. People like Vawn Vawn would then decide whether this service is worth purchasing, or just drop subscriptions altogether and stick with free online play. Don't forget that players on Xbox One would also have to make a similar decision--either pay more than what they were paying before, or play online for free and forget about the other subscription stuff.

As much as some people here are rooting for Microsoft to "go free" and somehow stick it to Sony and Nintendo, I doubt that it's going to be that simple, or that they have purely altruistic intentions here. I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to "giveth" free online play and "taketh" some other "freedom" in the process--for instance, restricting certain DLC/perks to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers only.

Want that new Call of Duty map pack? It's available exclusively to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers for 60 days! Extra bonus for GPU members: get exclusive access to the golden guns with double the firing rate and quadruple the ammo load!

Be careful what you wish for.
 

smbu2000

Member
Mar 6, 2012
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What's the difference between GP and GPU?
As of now there is:

Gamepass Console ($9.99/mo.): Unlimited access to Xbox games on Gamepass, and discounts when purchasing Games currently on Gamepass (20% off) and DLC (10% off).

Gamepass PC ($9.99 currently $4.99/mo.): Unlimited access to PC games on Gamepass (less games than on console version, but still +100) and the same discounts as well as stated above.

Gamepass Ultimate ($14.99/mo.): Includes everything in Gamepass Console and Gamepass PC. Also includes Xbox Live Gold (console multiplayer/Games with Gold/Deals with Gold).
 
Jun 10, 2020
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I was replying to someone saying Gold should be free cause everyone will be on Gamepass anyways. What I'm saying is that wouldn't work cause there is a massive customer base that only play COD, FIFA etc and those customers would not get Gamepass and get free online which is a massive loss in revenue for Microsoft.

As for the other way round which I think could potentially happen Gold is free with Gamepass and option for Gold 12 months is discontinued meaning those customers have to pay more unnecessarily just to play their COD, FIFA online.

To be fair though, if online is only free on one console, then a lot of those casual players flock over to that system, and even doubly so if the base price is cheaper (and with Lockhart, that is a guarantee). If they buy the game digitally, then MS makes more money. If they buy any map packs/microtransactions (which they always do), then that's more money for MS.

It's a question of whether the short term loss will be outweighed by the positives it brings (better image in eyes of consumer, more consumers in the eco-system, more people willing to try the other services etc). Saying it's a massive revenue loss for Microsoft is all relative, and it's not like Microsoft can't take the short term loss either
 

VincentMatts

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To be fair though, if online is only free on one console, then a lot of those casual players flock over to that system, and even doubly so if the base price is cheaper (and with Lockhart, that is a guarantee). If they buy the game digitally, then MS makes more money. If they buy any map packs/microtransactions (which they always do), then that's more money for MS.

It's a question of whether the short term loss will be outweighed by the positives it brings (better image in eyes of consumer, more consumers in the eco-system, more people willing to try the other services etc). Saying it's a massive revenue loss for Microsoft is all relative, and it's not like Microsoft can't take the short term loss either

Also keep in mind that a lot of these game pass owners are on PC and they won’t be paying for Xbox live. Mobile game pass owners either. The only people who actually pay that extra cost are Xbox owners and in the grand scheme of things will be the smallest pool of people. There will be more people on PC and mobile then there will be on Xbox.

And Yeah they say they included gold with Game Pass but if they remove Xbox live gold and make it free, the Game Pass price will not go down. I’m sure the goal is to replace Xbox live gold subs with Game Pass subs. It just makes sense. And it puts Sony in a really awkward position. Could you imagine if Sony becomes the only company that charge for online play at this point, after all the criticism’s Xbox got from Sony guys when it was free on PS3 and not on Xbox 360?
 
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KAL2006

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To be fair though, if online is only free on one console, then a lot of those casual players flock over to that system, and even doubly so if the base price is cheaper (and with Lockhart, that is a guarantee). If they buy the game digitally, then MS makes more money. If they buy any map packs/microtransactions (which they always do), then that's more money for MS.

It's a question of whether the short term loss will be outweighed by the positives it brings (better image in eyes of consumer, more consumers in the eco-system, more people willing to try the other services etc). Saying it's a massive revenue loss for Microsoft is all relative, and it's not like Microsoft can't take the short term loss either

Luckily you are not hired to be Xbox financial adviser as the obvious is they will lose money.

There is a reason why forum posters around here don't make these decisions. PS5 will sell regardless if Xbox has free online. And I very much doubt the people switching over for free online will outweigh the loss in revenue not charging for online.
 

KAL2006

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Also keep in mind that a lot of these game pass owners are on PC and they won’t be paying for Xbox live. Mobile game pass owners either. The only people who actually pay that extra cost are Xbox owners and in the grand scheme of things will be the smallest pool of people. There will be more people on PC and mobile then there will be on Xbox.

And Yeah they say they included gold with Game Pass but if they remove Xbox live gold and make it free, the Game Pass price will not go down. I’m sure the goal is to replace Xbox live gold subs with Game Pass subs. It just makes sense. And it puts Sony in a really awkward position. Could you imagine if Sony becomes the only company that charge for online play at this point, after all the criticism’s Xbox got from Sony guys when it was free on PS3 and not on Xbox 360?

How would they do that. If Gold was free people who are not interested in Gamepass will just continue playing online but won't need to pay. How can Microsoft guarantee these people will now be in Gamepass. The amount of people not interested in Gamepass is substantial. I have a ton of friends who literally only play either COD or FIFA. All that lost revenue cause they want to give them free online in hopes they now pay for Gamepass. Just doest make any business sense if someone came out with that idea in a boardroom they would be laughed at.

Do none of you guys literally just take a minute to think before posting.
 

Vawn

Banned
Feb 20, 2018
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So what do you reckon in this scenario, then? Microsoft ditches paying for online, forcing Sony to follow suit.

Why would Sony be forced to follow suit? Was Xbox forced to follow suit last generation when PS3 online was free?

And then what? Microsoft have Gamepass and free online, Sony have the weaker service in PS Now and a now redundant Plus.

In this completely imaginary series of events, i can't see them getting rid of Plus. So how else do they add value?

Microsoft isn't adding value to GamePass by removing Gold, unless they lower the price (as GP already includes Gold). This move actually devalues GamePass because GP currently includes the cost of Gold.

Sony is much less interested in pushing PS Now. If they made online free, it wouldn't increase PS Now numbers. If they ONLY allowed online play for PS Now members, they'd piss a lot of people off, unless they made it as cheap as PS+ currently is (they wouldn't).
 

Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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How would they do that. If Gold was free people who are not interested in Gamepass will just continue playing online but won't need to pay. How can Microsoft guarantee these people will now be in Gamepass. The amount of people not interested in Gamepass is substantial. I have a ton of friends who literally only play either COD or FIFA. All that lost revenue cause they want to give them free online in hopes they now pay for Gamepass. Just doest make any business sense if someone came out with that idea in a boardroom they would be laughed at.

Do none of you guys literally just take a minute to think before posting.

Do you?

You are arguing about a subscription based service that is on one of their products (xbox) which has a much lower ROI than their other service, Game Pass, which has not only wider appeal but a wider audience potential.

You will never get someone to pay for Gold on PC. It will never happen. You can't grow you eco system with services that are on one platform but impossible to sell to another. Removing the barrier not only gets more people into your eco system and playing games that are FTP, like Fortnite (you might have heard of it) which will net you more money in micro transactions but also get people to look at your service which has a higher ROI with more potential streams of revenue since they are playing games on your service which can lead to even more money being spent on things like DLC.

So yeah, I would say looking at getting more customers in and having them spend more while also getting a PR boost over the competition which adopted their model simply because they could is in the cards.

But hey, keep trying to feel superior and talking down to people.
 
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KAL2006

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Do you?

You are arguing about a subscription based service that is on one of their products (xbox) which has a much lower ROI than their other service, Game Pass, which has not only wider appeal but a wider audience potential.

You will never get someone to pay for Gold on PC. It will never happen. You can't grow you eco system with services that are on one platform but impossible to sell to another. Removing the barrier not only gets more people into your eco system and playing games that are FTP, like Fortnite (you might have heard of it) which will net you more money in micro transactions but also get people to look at your service which has a higher ROI with more potential streams of revenue since they are playing games on your service which can lead to even more money being spent on things like DLC.

So yeah, I would say looking at getting more customers in and having them spend more while also getting a PR boost over the competition which adopted their model simply because they could is in the cards.

But hey, keep trying to feel superior and talking down to people.

Who said anything about PC. PC will continue to be free online as per usual.

There are a massive amount of people who game on Xbox One and only play a few games a year who pay for online. These people don't care about Gamepass they just want to play COD or FIFA and etc. Why would they pay for Gamepass if Microsoft allows them to bow suddenly play the only 2 games they play every year for free online.

The significant amount of money Microsoft would lose out on people paying for online in comparison to the amount of new customers they get won't really add up.
 

Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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Who said anything about PC. PC will continue to be free online as per usual.

There are a massive amount of people who game on Xbox One and only play a few games a year who pay for online. These people don't care about Gamepass they just want to play COD or FIFA and etc. Why would they pay for Gamepass if Microsoft allows them to bow suddenly play the only 2 games they play every year for free online.

The significant amount of money Microsoft would lose out on people paying for online in comparison to the amount of new customers they get won't really add up.

Based on what? Again, you are thinking in terms of one type of customer. The Fifa COD customer. Those are not the only customers Microsoft has. Its all about ROI,ROE and eco systems. Barriers into your eco system hurt ROE. PC matters because GP is on console and PC.
 
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Luckily you are not hired to be Xbox financial adviser as the obvious is they will lose money.

There is a reason why forum posters around here don't make these decisions. PS5 will sell regardless if Xbox has free online. And I very much doubt the people switching over for free online will outweigh the loss in revenue not charging for online.

I mean, the reality is that neither of us are qualified enough to say anything because we don't know the numbers behind the Xbox Division nor how quickly their other services such as Game Pass Ultimate have grown. There are multiple possible outcomes to them removing paid online, and a loss of that size is still relative to how quickly everything else grows
 
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Agent X

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PS5 will sell regardless if Xbox has free online.

If Xbox Series X had free online play, and PlayStation 5 did not, then I'm sure it would sway some people. That's a rather big selling point.

Which, of course, is why I don't think it will pan out like that.

Either they'll both remain as paid services, or one will announce they're dropping the fee and the other will rapidly follow suit.

And I very much doubt the people switching over for free online will outweigh the loss in revenue not charging for online.

Good point.

If Gold was free people who are not interested in Gamepass will just continue playing online but won't need to pay. How can Microsoft guarantee these people will now be in Gamepass.

Another good point. They'll probably gradually shift the "online fee" and/or other benefits (such as exclusive access to DLC) from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass. If they're not phasing out Xbox Live Gold altogether, then they'll remove features and "value" from XBLG in such a way that it looks "undesirable" by comparison, ultimately forcing players to purchase a more expensive XBGP subscription if they don't want to get totally dusted in online games.

Removing the barrier not only gets more people into your eco system and playing games that are FTP, like Fortnite (you might have heard of it) which will net you more money in micro transactions but also get people to look at your service which has a higher ROI with more potential streams of revenue since they are playing games on your service which can lead to even more money being spent on things like DLC.

Poor comparison. Fortnite is already free-to-play on numerous other platforms, including PS4 and Switch. Xbox One is the only platform that Fortnite is on, where you have to pay another subscription fee in order to play the game. This also holds true for other free-to-play games--a fact that most dedicated online game players are already keenly aware of.

Microsoft removing that barrier would merely achieve parity with what Sony and Nintendo are already doing here.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Jan 26, 2016
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If Xbox Series X had free online play, and PlayStation 5 did not, then I'm sure it would sway some people. That's a rather big selling point.

Which, of course, is why I don't think it will pan out like that.

Either they'll both remain as paid services, or one will announce they're dropping the fee and the other will rapidly follow suit.



Good point.



Another good point. They'll probably gradually shift the "online fee" and/or other benefits (such as exclusive access to DLC) from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass. If they're not phasing out Xbox Live Gold altogether, then they'll remove features and "value" from XBLG in such a way that it looks "undesirable" by comparison, ultimately forcing players to purchase a more expensive XBGP subscription if they don't want to get totally dusted in online games.



Poor comparison. Fortnite is already free-to-play on numerous other platforms, including PS4 and Switch. Xbox One is the only platform that Fortnite is on, where you have to pay another subscription fee in order to play the game. This also holds true for other free-to-play games--a fact that most dedicated online game players are already keenly aware of.

Microsoft removing that barrier would merely achieve parity with what Sony and Nintendo are already doing here.

Thats exactly the point. Having a barrier to Fortnite hurts your ROE on your entire ecosystem. Which has a much higher chance or netting your more money than the barrier plus the revenue stream.
 
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