Microsoft admits it "messed up" and cancels planned Xbox Live Gold price hike

The Xbox logo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has u-turned on its recently announced Xbox Live Gold price increases.

Just yesterday, the company announced Xbox Live Gold would see it' prices increase to $11 for one month, $30 for three months, and $60 for 6 months (that's £8, £22 and £43 respectively in the UK). 

However, less than 24 hours after the news, Xbox has acknowledged it had "missed the mark" and promised it was "reversing [its] Xbox Live Gold pricing updates" after gamers slammed the company for the timing of the announcement, and the steep hike of the increases.  

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"We messed up today and you were right to let us know," the company said in an updated blog post. "Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing."

Microsoft also confirmed it would now also remove the need to have a live Xbox Live Gold sub to play free-to-play games, bringing it in line with Sony and Nintendo's similar subscription services. 

"We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months."

ICYMI, the Xbox Games with Gold February 2021 lineup has been revealed, and it's easily the strongest selection we've seen in months.

The new picks will kick off on February 1 with both Gears 5 and Resident Evil; while they're both technically Xbox One titles, the former got an Xbox Series X update that includes both a graphical update and a massive reduction in load times. Resident Evil doesn't jump into next-gen with quite so much gusto, but it is still a survival horror essential - and perfect to play while you wait for Resident Evil 8 to arrive in May.

While the Xbox Games with Gold February lineup is on the way, you'll still have until February 15 to claim the original Dead Rising. The rest of the January titles - Little Nightmares, King of Fighters 13, and Breakdown - will no longer be available after January 31.

If you need more room to store all these free games, check out our guide to the best Xbox Series X external hard drives.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.