Xbox has finally removed the requirement of an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play free to play games. This decision was announced months ago after Xbox reversed the decision to double the price of Gold after significant feedback from the community.
Starting today, all Xbox players can access online multiplayer at no charge for a library of over 50 free-to-play games. Details here: https://t.co/2QgKeaSffi— Xbox Wire (@XboxWire) April 21, 2021
Xbox Live Gold has long felt a bit antiquated, especially since Xbox’s direct competitor Playstation has never put free to play games behind a paywall.
The question now is what does this mean for Gold. Gold has felt antiquated for a while, especially with the rise of Game Pass as the clear focus of Microsoft’s strategy to dominate in the Gaming industry
Our very own Shpeshal_Ed and Jez Corden of Windows Central noted on Twitter that Game Pass subscriptions are well beyond 20 million at this point.
23 million as of April 20! https://t.co/Jjs65UaTNw— Jez 👩💻 (@JezCorden) April 21, 2021
Xbox Live Gold does not make much sense in a Game Pass world. Gold’s only “value” as of now is a paywall for online multiplayer, but there has long been vocal criticism of the existence of said paywall. We will have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months and years to get a better understanding of Gold’s long term viability with Xbox.