Microsoft Jacks up Xbox Live Subscription Fees

microsoft jacks up xbox live subscription fees

Starting on November 1, Xbox Live members in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. will be paying a bit more for the privilege to be insulted by children who should be in school, or jail.

On his official blog, Xbox spokesman Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb broke the news today that subscription costs for XBL Gold Memberships will be increasing. The yearly cost will jump to $59.99, the three-month plans will rise to $24.99, and monthly fees will soon cost $9.99. Currently the memberships are $49.99, $19.99 and $7.99 respectively.

“Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same” Hyrb wrote. “We’re confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry.”

Hyrb did not offer any further details on the price increase, or what gold members can expect in the future. An ESPN channel is on the way, as is video support for the Kinect, but a rumored Hulu channel would likely be an additional subscription fee, and not part of the new gold pricing.

Microsoft will offer users a discount to convince them to re-up before the November deadline. Users can upgrade or renew their memberships now for a year at a discounted cost of $39.99.

“We do want to thank our loyal members and give you the opportunity to lock in your current price with an additional discount,” Hryb said. “so now would be a good time to renew your subscription.”

If you have ever had the joy of playing an online game on the Xbox Live network, you can probably guess the immediate reaction. While the XBL subscriber base is large and varied, it is not traditionally associated with words like “understanding” and “reasonable.”

“This is absolutely insane. I won’t use ESPN nor will I use Hulu Plus. I shouldn’t be forced to pay more to bring those features to other people who will use it. Hell, I barely use the Netflix functionality.” The gamer WidescreenRules posted in response.

“What a great idea, raise prices when developers are already starting to charge extra to play online! Absolutely RIDICULOUS!!!!!” Another gamer, Dsgrce commented.

“Greedy bastards. That is all i have to say. :( btw Can’t believe there are people that defend this decision of M$. But hey, maybe they are Microsoft workers.” Sepulturas666 posted.

Not mentioned was how this price increase will effect the recently announced family membership pricing, which offers four family members a year of gold membership for $99 total.

So what say you, Xbox 360 users, will you pay the fee?