Today Microsoft has revealed they are starting with insider tests to disable the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free to play games. Insiders using the Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha will be able to try this new version. Certain games will not work yet withouth Xbox Live Gold. Notable examples are Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: Warzone.
”We are aware that some titles do not currently support the Free-to Play multiplayer testing currently available in Preview. We are working with the studios as the titles require an update to support this service change. Note: Titles currently not supported include Destiny 2 and Call Of Duty: Warzone. Please Report a problem on any other titles that are not working.”
But wait… there is more!
Surprisingly Microsoft is not only removing the barrier for Free to Play games requiring Xbox Live Gold. They are also removing the need of the subscription for Xbox Party Chat and Looking For Group. This means Xbox multiplayer becomes more accessible for everyone. The changes to Xbox Live Gold were announced after the backlash that happened when Microsoft announced increasing the price for Xbox Live Gold. And this week Microsoft announced they will be renaming Xbox Live to Xbox network, to further emphasize the difference between Xbox Live Gold and the Xbox online services.
With these changes Microsoft’s online services are more in line with Sony and Nintendo’s services. On these platforms players also don’t need a subscription to play free-to-play games.