Microsoft have removed the 12 and 24 month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, leaving just the one and three months options. Microsoft have made the following comment to TrueAchievements:
At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.
Why are they removing the subs? The obvious rumour is that Xbox Live Gold is going to shut down, but Microsoft likely have more profit-based plans. Removing the 12 month sub means that the price for a full year of Xbox Live Gold is now £71.96, and since you’re paying that much… wouldn’t you rather subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get access to the game subscription service as well?
There is other speculation from VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb that Microsoft might be thinking to at least relax the requirement of Xbox Live Gold for free to play games, especially if leaks and rumours of Halo Infinite multiplayer being free–to–play end up being true.
Leaks from a listing on Smyths Toys have suggested that the multiplayer side of Halo Infinite will be going free-to-play when it’s released alongside the Xbox Series X later this year. The details have now been pulled, but were captured by Google’s caching and The Verge.
Would you be sad to see Xbox Live Gold go away? Games With Gold’s offerings have been rather lacklustre lately, while PlayStation Plus has been handing out triple-A games, Gold has been been handing out lower tier games.
For Games with Gold in August, as always there’s two Xbox One games and a pair of backward compatible games, with this month’s pair both coming from the original Xbox. Heading the line up from Xbox One are Portal Knights and Override Mech City Brawl, but you might prefer to boot up a pair of games from the early 2000s with MX Unleashed and Red Faction 2.
The games and their availability are as follows:
- Portal Knights – 1st to 31st August
- Override: Mech City Brawl – 16th August to 15th September
- MX Unleashed – 1st to 15th August
- Red Faction II – 16th to 31st August
Don’t forget that you can still pick up some of July’s games: