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Microsoft: XBL Gold membership increase helps fund extra content and infrastructure costs

Tuesday, 2nd November 2010 21:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Craig Davison, senior marketing director for Xbox Live, has said the price increase for Gold Membership all boils down to content.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Davison said raising the price from $4.17 per month to $5 well help keep the quality of offerings consistent while allowing the firm to add more options to members.

“If I’m playing Halo: Reach, Gears of War, Call of Duty, the consistency of the service and the experience needs to be there regardless of what that entertainment application is,” he said. “As you can imagine, the costs associated with maintaining a service at that level and making sure all of those features are consistent, we’re hitting that quality bar, we’re adding the customer service infrastructure necessary, we’re accommodating all of the same social features and functionality too, there’s a cost.

“Infrastructure costs, of course. And we’re continuing to bring more and more content. And we want to add more and more and more. ESPN is a great example. No extra charge for Xbox Live Gold members. But we want to continue to bring that content in. We also want to continue to innovate on all dimensions, whether it’s social, entertainment, or gaming.

“So there you go.”

Microsoft launched XBL in 2002, and went from 400K members in its first year to 25 million as of today.

Announced back in August, the price of a Gold Membership with Xbox Live was raised from $49.99 a year to $59.99, yesterday.

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40 Comments

  1. Razor

    $60 for what’s basically a P2P service.

    Seriously, how do gamers let them get away with it?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Dralen

    That’s a load of BS and they know it!! They just want more cash out of their customers.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. lexph3re

    Who said it was gamers who let them get away with it?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Lahanas

    Live Gold simply isnt worth it anymore and for the first time in four years I wont renew my membership. PSN gaming is free and PS3 has many many more exclusives coming. 50-60 euros a year for what exactly that ps3 doesnt offer?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. SlayerGT

    Lahanas thats my feeling on it too. Once my sub. ran out I would go to look at games and say “Do I get this for Xbox and have to re-up if I just happen to want to go online with it? Or for PS3 and it won’t matter.” It makes too much sense. Every 60 dollar Xbox game looked like a 100 dollar game.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Psychotech

    @4 fanboy response:cross game chat :P

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Michael O’Connor

    Cross game chat.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. OrbitMonkey

    @6 Oh yeah? Well my little xbox friend, psn will also have cross game chat! Free for psn plus members! Psn plus only costs about £40 quid a year… Oh wait a minute…

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Michael O’Connor

    @8 Hahahaha!

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Callum

    @8 lol :)
    My live cost me £22 this year. I’m sorry, but that is £1.83 a month. I am happy to pay that just for halo reach multiplayer!

    #10 4 years ago
  11. lexph3re

    Sony. More then likely won’t do cross game chat. I for one don’t think 60buck or a. Single 1$ would make me buy a online service just for cross game chat. It just doesn’t matter to me. Played with cross game chat and it was a bit fun. But, I’m not dying to have it. And, it was only fun for when a moment before I cut it off. I’m an immersive gamer and hearing my friend scream about halo while I play ssf4 is to distracting because I have to dog my friends when they get pwn’d its how our relationship works.

    But still. Cross game chat isn’t justifing the purchase. Please. Try again to persuade me

    #11 4 years ago
  12. poopoofruits

    xbox live is more appealing for people, i think thats what it is. And the majority of people think that if everyone has it, it must be good.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Suikoden Fan

    honestly dont see much point in cross game chat, unless your in a clan match. otherwise i’d just have people talking to me when i should be concentrating on the game, if i wanted to talk, i’d phone them or something out of game. its too easy to get distracted and fuck up if you have what i call ‘background noise’

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    Cross Game Chat is overrated for paying 60 dollars seriously.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    Ok I’m a ps3 user, suits me fine, but I can see the appeal of cross game chat. Its basically a unlimited phone line to any of your mates who own a 360. I’m assuming you don’t have to be playing a game to use it?

    #15 4 years ago
  16. NoxNoctisUmbra

    I agree, You pay for p2p. it should be fucking free. Dedicated servers are the way to go. So why 256 player MAG game with dedicated servers have little or no lag during gameplay, and HALO Reach, or MW2 has huge lag? Pay for Xbox live? no fucking way!!!

    THere should be 3 levels for Xbox live
    Silver (no online play)
    Gold FREE Online play
    And Platnium, all other features for 60 bucks a year.

    Xcross game chat? WTF is that? if you wanna tlak to you friend, let him or her play the same fucking game, its just like real life, when you talk to someone and they start texting in front of you, get the fuck out of here.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. reask

    @ 13
    Ask the younger ones on that and you will get a totally different response.
    I picked up Sims 3 for the little one last week.
    For the laugh I suggested getting it on PS3.
    I got stared out of it.

    You are talking about a generation that is doing at least 50% of there socialising on line.
    x chat is not a bonus for this gen it is standard practice for them.

    I seldom if ever use the headset(only with friends).
    But the younger gen use social network sites as normal for socialising.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. MushroomStamp

    What some of you are calling cross-game chat is also used for in-game dedicated chat. In short it’s just dedicated chat, not really cross-game. Dedicated chat is great for when you want to only talk to your friends. It allows you to talk even during loading screens or other times that game itself doesn’t really have a voice connection going. It allows you to communicate on a team of 8 when you really only care about communicating with 4.

    To me it’s crucial for effective & competitive gaming without the restrictions of the game itself.

    I absolutely don’t want to play a multiplayer game without it.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. reask

    You said it better than me Mushroom. :)

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Dark

    pay to pay even more.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Suikoden Fan

    @18 and 19 either way i like to concentrate on the game itself not hear someone jabber on, and i am of the young generation. I know that for a fact if someone talks during an fmv especially in an rpg, i’ll go apeshit at them.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. MushroomStamp

    Well obviously RPGs aren’t really multiplayer games at least that require communication. However, if you are into competitive team play such as Reach… my teammate damn well better speak up “He’s coming up behind on your right”. His proper communication is essential to me not being ganked from behind. When not in maches I don’t want to have conversation interrupted because there is a load screen or suddenly other people able to listen in because of that particular talk/game design.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. manamana

    “ESPN is a great example” – yes, especially when you pay 59€ and dont see it on the horizon. What NNU says, is absolutely the way to go, from a user perspective.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Psychotech

    @8 But at least PSN has the alternative without paying to play online and i don’t think ps3 will ever get cross game chat either for Plus or regular members.
    Thinking of how the memory is divided on the ps3 i don’t think it can handle cross game chat so well if not at all
    But you will definitely see this feature on ps4

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    I did the $40 renewal special October 31 before the price went up on Nov 1 to $60. Figure I’m gonna be playing online at least another few years or so. Not sure if i’ll renew again after that at the $60 rate.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. MushroomStamp

    I got 5 years for $125 :) When TRU did their 50% off accessories. Just got 5 live cards for $24.99/per.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. NoxNoctisUmbra

    I agree with some of you that cross media chat should be in Xbox live, I hate it, because play the game you are playing not with people who play diffrent games, but thats just me..

    But at the end of the day I think everyone is overpaying just for that feature that it should be free!

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Kuwabara

    It’s going to pay for the kinnect 500 million dollar marketing campaign, cause theyre greedy fuckers and bill gates hasnt got enough billions , that he has to steal from u sheep.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. LordCancer

    I don’t agree with the price of xbox live before they raised the price. I been unwilling to pay more then $30 for the 12 month cards. The recent changes microsoft made to my account also piss me off. They re-enabled auto renewal and disable your ability to turn it off from the website. It now requires a 45 minute call to india where this bitch kept calling me jacob, my name isn’t fucking jacob!

    #29 4 years ago
  30. OrbitMonkey

    @24 I agree totally, but I would like to see cross game chat on this gen of playstation console! Though I think a fair few ps3 owners need to get headset sorted :D

    #30 4 years ago
  31. OrbitMonkey

    @29 Lol that story is so fucking true, my mate wanted to cancel before going in a tour of southeast Asia. They advised him to take the console & hook into internet cafes :D Hard selling bro!

    #31 4 years ago
  32. LordCancer

    lol she asked me sir why do you be wanting to disable auto renewal sir.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Chris2pher_Jack

    Microsoft… why even bother trying to justify yourself, we all know you’re evil, you need no excuses for your actions. Profit is your number 1 priority, at least other companies don’t sacrifice quality anywhere near to the extent that you do. Windows is outdated, 360 has a weak design (even the new model), & i don’t expect much from their new phone OS.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. OrbitMonkey

    @33 Woah dude! Did Bill Gates give you a wedgie or something?

    #34 4 years ago
  35. LordCancer

    maybe bill gave him a crocodile dundee!

    #35 4 years ago
  36. polygem

    as much as i love my 360. this is a joke. service is already build up and well established. not a big deal to implement new stuff. tell your mom otherwise. it´s a freakin crime to increase the price of xbl. this…making sure all the features are consistent blabla…wow…pinnochio what´s happening to your nose?

    #36 4 years ago
  37. polygem

    @16: i agree with the 3 levels thing. it wont ever happen though. but ms should be forced by law to allow players to play online for free. seriously.
    cross game chat: never ever used it and never ever will….if i play slayer on halo i have to concentrate otherwise they´ll totally destroy me…if i play fable i want to enjoy the beautiful world without someone burping in the mic.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Chris2pher_Jack

    @34, you have to be evil to get the kind of profits that Apple & Microsoft get, it’s called ‘exploiting’, everyone does it, but no one is as good as either Apple or Microsoft, & although the 360 is cheaply designed, i do enjoy Fable & Halo, & although Windows isn’t cheap, at least it’s easy to use, will take me ages to get used to Linux but i have no intentions of using Mac.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Blerk

    “ESPN is a great example. No extra charge for Xbox Live Gold members.”

    Apart from the extra charge that you just added, you mean? :-D

    Personally speaking, stuff like ESPN/Sky Player/Netflix/Last.FM/etc. should be charged for, mostly because I’d never use them.

    It’s almost like they need a third level of subs – a ‘free’ with the basics, a ‘gaming’ sub for the gamey stuff, and a ‘full’ sub for all the services. The ‘full’ could be the price they charge now, the ‘gamer’ one could be a little cheaper.

    But there’s no chance of that ever happening. :-)

    #39 4 years ago
  40. frostquake

    Since the price was not supposed to go up until Nov.1, I thought I would wait until the last week to go out and buy another year via the plastic cards you find in Best Buys, GameStops, and Walmarts.

    Well they pulled them all and only had the $60 ones, and I wasn’t allowed to buy the older ones, even though one store had them in a shopping cart behind the register…SIGH!

    #40 4 years ago

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