One of the core pillars of Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem (blegh, I hate describing tech like that) is Xbox Live, a service that allowed users to play games online through whatever Xbox console they using at the time. It’s been around for as long as I can remember yet this week there were some rather strange rumours circulating, stemmed by a changes in the company’s service agreement, that Microsoft was either renaming or discontinuing Xbox Live in its entirety. I doubt many people actually put stock in these whisperings but given that Microsoft has been doing the most to overhaul and build on the Xbox experience with services such as Game Pass and the announcement that Halo: Infinite‘s multiplayer will be available everyone, Xbox Live Gold subscription or not, well some people began to get a little antsy.
Microsoft wants you to stop worrying though as they’ve confirmed that Xbox Live Gold is neither disappearing into the aether nor is it undergoing any kind of name change. Speaking to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, “The update to ‘Xbox online service’ in the Microsoft Services Agreement refers to the underlying Xbox service that includes features like cross-saves and friend requests…This language update is intended to distinguish that underlying service, and the paid Xbox Live Gold subscription. There are no changes being made to the experience of the service or Xbox Live Gold.”
Which is nice to know but the story gets more interesting from here. When prompted about whether or not Xbox Live Gold will be going free, the Microsoft spokesperson said, “We have no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold at this time. It is an important part of gaming on Xbox today, and will continue to be in the future.” Which is a dodge so grand you could use it to escape death in Death Souls.
So don’t take that as any kind of confirmation but given how Halo: Infinite is 100% confirmed to have a free multiplayer component that could be a sign of things to come for Xbox’s future. We’ll just have to wait and see when the console eventually launches later this year.