[Update: Prices reverted] Xbox Live Gold memberships are increasing in price, so stock up before then!

[Update: Prices reverted] Xbox Live Gold memberships are increasing in price, so stock up before then!

Update 1 (01/23/2021 @ 05:37 AM ET): After the ensuing uproar, Microsoft has reverted the pricing on Xbox Live Gold memberships, and even opening up free-to-play games. Scroll to the bottom for more information. The article as published on January 22, 2021, is preserved below.

It always sucks when subscription services go up in price. It’s sort of a natural part of inflation, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant. The latest service to get a price increase will be Xbox Live Gold, also known as ‘the one that’s not Xbox Game Pass’ (which you should look into by the way, as Game Pass Ultimate should include Xbox Cloud Gaming). The price increase hasn’t happened yet, though, so now is your time to stock up on the service so that you won’t be paying more later!

The change for Xbox Live Gold was announced by Microsoft earlier this morning, and on paper, it doesn’t seem too bad, with the monthly subscription going up by $1 and the three-month subscription going up $5. Of course, you’ll see that the math doesn’t quite add up there, and the price increase for multiple months of Gold only gets worse from there. Six months of Live Gold currently is $40, but it’ll be increased to $60, which is also the equivalent for a year of PlayStation Plus.

It’s a bit strange, but many see this as Microsoft making the price increase an incentive for users to switch to Xbox Game Pass, which offers more features at what will soon be a similar price. This is backed up in Microsoft’s announcement itself, stating that Xbox Live Gold time can be directly upgraded to Game Pass Ultimate time, up to 36 months.

Basically, it’s time to stock up! First, if you’re not already an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate user, you’ll want to sign up for three months for a dollar. Then, pick up some Xbox Live Gold time cards from Amazon. Finally, convert those months into months of Game Pass Ultimate, and you’re ultimately (ha) saved on the superior service!

For reference, currently, 12 months of Xbox Live Gold is $60, and it will convert to 12 months of Game Pass Ultimate. Just three months of Game Pass Ultimate is $45, so… yeah, that’s quite a bit of savings! Since that yearly price will effectively double soon, it’s best to just stock up on Live Gold before then, even if you’re not planning on converting it over to Game Pass Ultimate.

    Xbox Live Gold (12 months)
    A year of Gold will effectively be doubling soon, so get your subscription before that happens!
    Xbox Live Gold (6 months)
    6 months of Gold will be increasing to $60 soon. Grab some at the current price before it's too late!
    Xbox Live Gold (3 months)
    Three months of Gold will be going up by $5 soon. Grab some time before it's too late!

Update: Xbox Live Gold prices reverted, free-to-play games opened up

After the uproar from the gaming community, Microsoft has decided not to increase the pricing on Xbox Live Gold for now, reverting back to the older pricing, i.e. $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for 12-months. Further, gamers no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play free-to-play games on the Xbox.

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Elizabeth Henges
Elizabeth Henges

As XDA Developers' Deals Guru, I find all the best tech deals and pass the savings onto you. I've been a journalist since the early 2010s, covering gaming, tech, and e-commerce. If you have any deals you'd like to pass on, you can e-mail me at [email protected]