Update 01/23/2020 12:43am ET: Microsoft has backpedalled on its original decision and will not increase Xbox Live Gold’s cost following significant backlash from gamers.
Microsoft has announced that it’s increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold.
Specifically in Canada, 1-month now costs $12.99 up from $11.99, 3-months costs $34.99 up from $29.99 and 6-months costs $69.99 up from $44.99. It’s unclear how much 12-month subscriptions will cost given their current price is $69.99, the same price as the new 6-month subscription cost.
The company says that if you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, the online gaming service’s cost won’t change. However, if you opt to renew your membership at the end of your subscription term, you’ll renew at the current increased price.
Microsoft says that if you upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the remaining Gold time will still convert to Ultimate (up to 36 months). Game Pass Ultimate includes Xbox Live Gold, access to all current and upcoming Microsoft first-party game releases (as well as numerous third-party titles) through Game Pass on Xbox and PC, EA’s video game subscription service EA Play and Xbox cloud gaming on Android (formerly called xCloud) at the cost of $16.99 per month.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has increased the cost of Xbox Live in Canada. Back in 2017, the company kicked the cost of a 12-month subscription up to $69.99 from $59.99, which is now the price of a 6-month subscription in Canada.
Rumours have also been swirling for months that Microsoft has plans to scrap Xbox Live entirely or that the company would give free-to-play games access to multiplayer features without a monthly fee. However, that doesn’t seem to be happening — at least not yet. Microsoft did confirm last July that Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer will be “free to play,” although it’s still unclear exactly how that will work.
Microsoft says that price adjustments won’t happen until “at least 45 days” after you receive a price increase message.
In some ways, it almost feels like Microsoft is intentionally making Xbox Live Gold a horrible deal in an effort to push subscribers to upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which offers far more value.
Update 01/22/2020 11:05am ET: Canadian pricing has been added to the story.