Reports suggest Microsoft has decided to drop its Xbox Live Gold 1-year subscription from Microsoft. This is a curious move considering there have been some big announcements recently by Phil Spencer regarding the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Game Pass. Turns out, it was a deliberate move after all. Tom Warren, senior editor for The Verge, confirmed this by tweeting,
“yes, Microsoft has removed the 12-month Xbox Live Gold option. What does it mean? Patience :)”
Microsoft confirms removal of the 12-month Xbox Live Gold Option
A Microsoft spokesperson also told TrueAchievements “At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
There can be multiple reasons behind this move by Microsoft but the most obvious one is the Xbox Game Pass. With a 12-month gold subscription now out of the picture, the Game Pass will be the main focus for the company. Phil Spencer recently announced on the Xbox Wire,
“All Xbox Game Studios titles launch into Xbox Game Pass the same day as their global release, so you decide whether to purchase each game separately or play them all with your Xbox Game Pass membership. Xbox Game Studios franchises that will launch into Game Pass day one of release include Halo, Forza, Age of Empires, Gears of War, Minecraft, Hellblade, The Outer Worlds, Psychonauts, Microsoft Flight Simulator, State of Decay, Wasteland, Minecraft Dungeons and Sea of Thieves—and more new franchises in early development. So, when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can decide whether to purchase the game or play it with Xbox Game Pass.”
With this pass, you won’t have to buy games separately to play them. Instead, you can get day-one access to all of them with a monthly subscription. Another upgrade called Game Pass Ultimate will give you access to Microsoft’s Project xCloud. It will only be available in supported countries and further plans will be unveiled soon.
Xbox Series X is no longer the ‘star’ for Microsoft
Spencer has mentioned that the Xbox Series X is ‘no longer the star of Microsoft’s strategy.’ This takes them in a different direction in the ‘console war.’ To put more emphasis on the xCloud, they even announced the shutdown of the production for Xbox One. While Sony still has plans for the PS4, Microsoft is focused on the future of gaming. As mentioned earlier, this could be just one of the many possible reasons for the cancellation of the yearly gold subscription. This also means that Microsoft now has one less SKU to focus on and they can divert their efforts elsewhere.
I love to play games of all kinds. You can usually find me casually teaming up with my squad to play the most random games ever. Oh, and I also manage to write about those sometimes