Microsoft spent most of 2020 building up goodwill for its Xbox Game Pass service and next-gen consoles, but a new Xbox Live Gold price hike risks wiping all of that out. The Xbox maker announced a number of changes to Xbox Live Gold pricing today — you should read our full post for details — and the bottom line is that it’s moving from $60 a year to $120 for most people. That’s a huge jump and a badly timed one: it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic, just as Microsoft has reported big boosts to its gaming revenue throughout 2020. The reason for the move is obvious — get people on Xbox Game Pass — but Microsoft has done it in a clumsy and poorly timed way. Xbox fans are understandably angry. Microsoft stands alone in being the only major platform holder to force players of Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and other popular free-to-play games to pay a subscription fee for access to multiplayer. That fee has now doubled annually for most Xbox players, as the majority of people buy codes to top up their Xbox Live subscription. Microsoft quietly removed these $59.99 12-month codes last year,… Read full this story
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