Xbox Live Gold is about to get a whole lot more expensive, according to a recent report that suggests the service is set to merge with Xbox Game Pass for good.

Xbox Insider Brad Sam says Microsoft is looking to emulate Sony’s book and combine its two subscription services – resulting in an increased monthly cost for Gold users.

Sams says the plan is for Xbox Live Gold, the subscription service that gives users monthly free games and access to online multiplayer, will no longer be available as a one-time subscription plan. Instead, the only way to get it will be through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Given that Xbox Live Gold is currently $9.99 / £6.99 per month and Game Pass Ultimate is $14.99 / £10.99 / month, that’s a noticeable price hike – even assuming the price of the Game Pass Ultimate remains the same.

“I heard that Microsoft is considering finding a way to increase the price of these services [Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass] to include Gold so that $15 a month is the new baseline, which means you get Game Pass and you also get Xbox Live Gold, and that’s the only tier,” Sams explained. Wouldn’t be surprised if when Microsoft closes this acquisition of Activision, they actually raise that base floor price by how much it will cost to get into their service.”

Take that with a huge pinch of salt for now, of course, because absolutely nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft.

In 2019, Microsoft began including Gold with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Some analysts have suggested that Microsoft has been looking for a way to streamline the two different services for some time. In early 2021, Microsoft announced – and then very quickly came back – an Xbox Live Gold price hike that effectively made Game Pass Ultimate the cheaper option, leading to speculation that the company was actively trying to push Gold subscribers to upgrade to Game Pass. Ultimate.

While Microsoft activated this particular price increase almost immediately, it wouldn’t be too hard to believe that it’s ready to do away with Xbox Live Gold altogether and merge its benefits with Game Pass.

Having access to all the benefits of Game Pass would obviously eliminate the increased price for some users, but the fact remains that there are Gold subscribers who don’t care about Game Pass. And I’m not sure forcing them to sign up for a Game Pass subscription to keep their gold would go down brilliantly.

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