Xbox Live Gold price rise: Cost of online service to increase for first time in years

Andrew Griffin
·2 min read
 (Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Xbox UK)
(Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Xbox UK)

Xbox is increasing the prices for its "gold" online service for the first time in years.

The subscription is required to unlock many of the Xbox's central features, including playing online against other people.

Now the cost of the service will be increased by as much as $5.

But Microsoft will offer a series of slightly complicated exceptions, apparently aimed at softening the blow of the increase in cost.

It also noted that it was the first time the cost of the service had increased "for years" and said that in some markets "it hasn't changed for 10 years".

The new price will see people pay $1 extra each month, or $5 if they pay every three months, Microsoft said. Longer-term subscriptions – the six- and 12-month options – will also receive prices increases, though existing subscribers will not be hit by them, and will be able to renew at the old price.

That will mean that one month will cost $10.99, three months will cost $29.99, and six months will cost $59.99.

The company did not give any indication of how those price increases would arrive in other currencies – or even where they would. While it said the change would come to “select markets”, and that people within them either have been informed already or would be soon, it did not say which markets those are.

It did make clear however that everyone hit by the increase will receive a message at least 45 days before the increase goes into effect, and that they will be able to opt out of their membership during that time.

As part of the increase, customers will be able to upgrade their membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles its game subscription service with the online fee required to play multiplayer and use other services, and get some time for free. If users upgrade, they will have all the time remaining in their Gold subscription transferred to their new one: if they bought three months of Gold a month ago, for instance, they will get two months of Ultimate at no extra cost.

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