Dropping Xbox Live Gold for free-to-play games is imminent as feature rolls out to all Insiders

By Sherif Saed
14 April 2021 10:24 GMT

We’re closer than ever to the historic day when free-to-play games would no longer require Xbox Live Gold.

Microsoft has revealed that Omega Xbox Insiders will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play free-to-play games online. This effectively makes the feature available to all Xbox Insiders, indicating that its public rollout is imminent.

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In a blog post, Microsoft indicated that nothing has changed since the feature first became available to Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha Insiders. As with all policy changes and new features, Microsoft releases them gradually to the various Insider rings, before unlocking them for everyone ahead of their public launch.

Unfortunately, this also means that some games have yet to be updated to support this change. Destiny 2, and Call of Duty: Warzone both still require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play online, something Microsoft warned about. The company is also looking for reports of any other free-to-play games that don’t play nice so that it can alert their developers to ready necessary patches.

The decision to drop the Gold requirement for free-to-play games was first announced back in January, after Microsoft reversed course on a plan to increase Xbox Live Gold subscription fees following negative feedback, just one day after the new prices were revealed.

By comparison, PlayStation console owners never had to pay to play free-to-play games online, so the change certainly has been a long time coming.

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