Xbox Live will remain as it is today, for now at least.
The past few weeks brought some rumblings about a seemingly imminent change to Xbox Live. This all started with Microsoft confirming in July that it’s no longer offering 12-month subscriptions as an option for Xbox Live Gold, with the three and one-month remaining.
Some assumed Microsoft is reshuffling all of the Xbox services under the Game Pass banner, which indicates a major change in how Xbox Live works today. Getting rid of Gold and offering free access to online multiplayer, for instance, was among the rumoured moves. This was further hinted at by Xbox itself, which recently made some changes to its user agreement.
Not so, apparently. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that everything will remain the same, for now.
“We have no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold at this time,” said Microsoft. “It is an important part of gaming on Xbox today, and will continue to be in the future.”
Obviously, this doesn’t mean Gold won’t be discontinued at some point down the line, as Microsoft may simply be working on making an announcement on its own terms later on. Indeed, the platform holder has August pencilled down as when it will be ready to share more news.
As for the recent change in Xbox service agreement verbiage, Microsoft said it was simply made to distinguish Gold from existing online services.
“The update to ‘Xbox online service’ in the Microsoft Services Agreement refers to the underlying Xbox service that includes features like cross-saves and friend requests,” said Microsoft.
“This language update is intended to distinguish that underlying service, and the paid Xbox Live Gold subscription. There are no changes being made to the experience of the service or Xbox Live Gold.”
As The Verge points out, Microsoft’s efforts to embrace PC gaming make the existence of Gold a bit awkward. It no longer makes sense to burden customers who already bought into the Xbox ecosystem with a monthly fee to play online when the same isn’t being asked of PC players.