Microsoft has quietly stopped selling 12-month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, hinting at something in the works for the service following the announcement of bundling Project xCloud to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
The Microsoft Store for the Xbox One is now only selling one-month and three-month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, which enables online multiplayer capabilities and offers free games to download every month. The removal of the 12-month subscription was initially thought to be an error, but it was confirmed in a statement to Digital Trends.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Microsoft.
Xbox Live Gold, gone forever?
Microsoft did not provide an explanation on the sudden removal of the 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription, but it interestingly follows Xbox chief Phil Spencer’s announcement that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, paying $15 per month, will we able to access the Project xCloud game streaming service at no extra cost starting in September. An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription also includes unlimited access to a gaming library, and all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold.
The removal of the 12-month option but the retaining of the three-month and one-month options for Xbox Live Gold coincides with the Xbox Series X launch, which is set for the holiday season. Microsoft may be refreshing the service for its next console, or it may be planning to push forward the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as an all-encompassing subscription.
Digital Trends has reached out to Microsoft to confirm the reason for the 12-month subscription’s removal, and if the three-month and one-month options will also soon be removed. We will update this article as soon as we hear back.
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