Xbox Removes Live Gold Requirement For Free To Play Titles

Xbox is dropping pay-walls for free-to-play games, party chat, and more as part of a plan to change Xbox Live as fans currently know it.

As part of some restructuring with Xbox services, the brand has chosen to drop some pay-walls for certain features such as party chat. Xbox announced today that it has implemented these in a testing stage for select members, but it likely won’t be long before it rolls out to everyone on the platform.

Just days ago, Xbox announced it was rebranding Xbox Live to Xbox network. At the time, the company hadn’t outlined what this actually meant beyond a simple name change, but it seemed to indicate that there would be changes coming to various services. Even though it seems that this rebrand is only the start, Microsoft has already started to make significant moves in helping the Xbox network become far more user friendly by tearing down pay-walls.

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Previously, Xbox Live Gold was a must for the majority of online games, party chat, and more. Now, as announced by Xbox Insider, players will be able to play free-to-play games such as Fortnite and use party chat without having to pay any additional costs. This will be a great way to include players who may be far more casual or simply don’t have the extra money to drop $10 a month for the handful of games they do play online. Xbox Live Gold will still seemingly have premium features such as free games and Xbox Live free play days. These new features are currently in a testing phase, meaning they won’t roll out to other players for a bit, but it shouldn’t take long to see them appear for everyone.

Whether or not Microsoft is planning on making any more significant changes remains to be seen right now. Xbox has slowly been dropping paid features for a while now, though these changes are probably some of the biggest to date. In 2020, Xbox made it so users no longer had to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold in order to use cloud saves. Compared to that somewhat minor change, this alteration is quite a surprising one.

At the start of 2021, Microsoft announced it would be doubling the price of Xbox Live Gold. Thankfully, this move was reversed and Xbox Live Gold’s price was not changed. The move was interesting, though, as doubling the price would likely mean Microsoft would need to provide more value to justify the cost. Instead, it is now removing features. Perhaps the backlash was so strong that it caused the company to completely rethink the way it has been handling Xbox Live. Whether or not more features will be made free for Xbox remains to be seen, but it should help the company compete with PlayStation Network in a big way.

Next: Xbox Exclusive Sci-Fi RPG Coming From Dark Souls Developers

Source: Xbox Insider

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