Microsoft is reportedly set to discontinue Xbox Live Gold, which is currently required to play multiplayer Xbox games online.
That’s according to VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb, who made the claim on Friday after a since-deleted listing by retailer Smyths Toys claimed that Halo Infinite will feature a “revolutionary free-to-play multiplayer experience” running at 120 frames per second (Microsoft has since confirmed this to Be Honest).
“Free Halo MP only makes sense if the Xbox Live Gold barrier goes away at least for free games,” he said. noted.
Xbox Live Gold is required to play free multiplayer games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone online. By contrast, PS4 and Switch owners aren’t required to sign up for any online services to play any of these games.
When asked if he thought Microsoft would get rid of Xbox Live Gold altogether or just remove the free games paywall, Grubb responded: “I think it’s going away completely.”
Last year Microsoft started bundling Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass in the form of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99 / £10.99 per month and will also include Project xCloud when it launches in September .
“Xbox Live Gold is going away and playing online multiplayer will be free”, Grubb followed. “They won’t force you to play Ultimate to play online.”
Earlier this month, Microsoft stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, fueling speculation that the long-running service could be repackaged or phased out to coincide with the launch of Xbox Series X this season. holidays.
Although the platform holder no longer offers an Xbox Live Gold annual subscription option, one- and three-month subscriptions are still available.
“At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12-month Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft Online Store,” a company spokesperson said. “Customers can still purchase a 1-month or 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
In addition to access to multiplayer games, Xbox Live Gold offers members two to four free games each month and discounts of up to 50% on Xbox One products at the Microsoft Store.