Microsoft recently took down some of its Xbox Live Gold subscription tiers, leading to speculation that Xbox would be segueing away from a paid online play model. Along those lines, after Microsoft updated its service agreement, some terminology referring to Xbox Live was changed to and generalized as “Xbox online service” as well. However, Microsoft has come out and clarified that the company has no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold or to implement a name change.
Speaking with The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “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.”
Having Xbox Live Gold still around is interesting because 343 Industries confirmed that Halo Infinite‘s online multiplayer would be free to play. How that model will work with Xbox’s paid online subscription remains to be seen.
This statement comes after Microsoft has been making decisions that benefit consumers. These initiatives include providing xCloud, its cloud game streaming service, for free to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, as well as confirming that all Xbox One controllers are compatible with Xbox Series X after it was revealed that the DualShock 4 would only work with PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation 5 and not PS5 titles.