Rumor: Xbox Live Gold Disappearing in September? UPDATE: Xbox Live renamed Xbox Online Service in Services agreement

For a Little Context

Over the last few weeks speculation around whether Xbox Live Gold is long for this world has ramped up as Xbox Live Gold 12 Month memberships have disappeared from the Xbox and Microsoft stores. Several outlets have brought attention to this, including well respected Tom Warren from the Verge.

Jeff Grub who has gained legitimacy through Summer of Games reporting also highlights the logic of this possible decision.

My Personal Take

We are going to see Xbox Live Gold disappear in September as they fold xCloud into Game Pass Ultimate. This will allow them to justify keeping Ultimate the price it is, adding xCloud and removing Gold from the premium all-in-one subscription.

What does this mean for everyone else? The premium gold service is folded into simply having an Xbox LIve account, with online play too integral to the future Games as a Services (GaaS) business model Xbox is pursuing. Xbox is removing as much friction from playing their games as possible and getting rid of needing to pay for Gold is just one such step.

Finally, this means that Games with Gold is going to go away, which might be tough to swallow for some, but with the value of Game Pass, it feels like Gold has lost most of its luster in the past year anyways.

Warning Against Hording Gold Memberships

Based on the conversion involved, I would not bother going out and buying up Gold memberships in the hopes of the “honeymoon deal” we got when Game Pass Ultimate was initially launched. The fact that Xbox has removed the subscriptions from stores makes me believe that no such deal will occur and you may actually lose money, if the price of Game Pass shifts in the future.

Currently you get 4 months of Ultimate for 12 months of Gold, which is in price parity.

What I Pose to the Community

  • Do you think Gold is on the way out?
  • How do you think it will unfold?
  • Is this a good, bad or neutral thing if it does happen?

Final Note

Let me also say I am new to the community and please let me know in terms of format, structure and content if you have any constructive feedback. Now, on to the post.


Terms of Service has been reworded to remove “Xbox Live” and replaced with “Xbox online service”


Not certain what they’re gonna do with Gold because it’s still a pretty strong brand. But multiplayer needs to be free. Even if just for F2P games


Heads up this conversion thing isn’t new it’s been out since GP:U launched I don’t know why Tim thought it was new haha.

I 100% think we’re seeing the removal of Gold some time soon because it just doesn’t fit with their narrative that gaming is for everyone. Not only is it a bit messy having X platform pay for it but not Y platform it would also be confusing to people jumping between PC/Xbox.

Plus the position it would put Sony in to remove their paywall to MP would be pretty big and I can’t just see them doing it. I think this is a dated subscription that’s only going to get more dated as time goes on so they should just rip the bandaid off now and deal with the loss off income. I seriously think Game Pass will get big enough to just replace it anyway and for all we know they could even add more tiers of Game Pass down the track.

The amount of hype and marketing around Game Pass too suggests to me they really just want Game Pass subs and as much as they can get so removing Gold could be a key thing to increase the sub count even more. Imagine if they convert everyone with Gold to Game Pass that’s like what 30m people or something like that. Even if only 50% (that’s being very generous) continue to subscribe after their new membership is up that’s 15m brand new Game Pass subs. Plus they get all the good press of being the good buys right at the start of a new generation.

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My understanding is that this has been a thing for people who are already Ultimate members, editing original post. I had made the mistake of assuming Timdog had made a new account for the sake of testing this.

I personally believe that Gold will be gone completely as of Series X release. They still have 1 and 3 month Gold plans. August/September/October. November is that 4th month and when Series X/S will releases. Expecting it to be announced this month when Xbox has their August 20/20 show.

Main reason why is simple - Microsoft wants cross-platform play with Xbox One/Series X/PC but can’t do that if console gamers are stuck behind a paywall. Plus, imagine those who only play COD for the majority of the year…they would easily jump ship back to Xbox.

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I expect them to drop it before the release of the console, so September could absolutely happen.

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Some slight rumblings about them folding the MP paywall into GamePass, which I think would be a mistake. Let’s see how it all plays out but if they want to be bold I think they should make all MP free and just convert existing Gold to GP in order to drive new subscriptions.

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Between all the smoke now on this matter I think no matter what Gold as we know it is gone by the launch of the next xbox systems if not slowly phased out across the next 3-6 months. Even with the latest rumors, I firmly believe this will come in the form of removing the paywall entirely.


With the confirmation that Halo Infinite MP will be F2P, we know some form of online multiplayer will not have a pay wall associated with it, although some of the services could be folded into Game Pass, good point.

I’m in the camp that multiplayer will be free on Xbox consoles and that the announcement is coming relatively soon :slight_smile: I think things have been heading this way for a couple years at least.


I really hope this turns out to be true as that means less money spent on artificial things like paying to play online and more money for other important things, like buying games or gamepass :grin:

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Would make sense, and they can recoup money by discontinuing GWG and focus on gamepass. I do wonder what happens to games we got through GWG like will it be locked to gamepass or do we lose access to them

I’ve always thought this had to happen at some point, and it’s been accelerated by Microsoft’s “platform” push as of late. It just doesn’t make sense that I’d have to pay to play Halo Infinite online on my Series X but not on my PC. It is a lot of revenue they’d be losing but I can only imagine the plan is to try and convert as many “gold” users to GP users as soon as possible.

It’s going to be interesting to see when Microsoft announce this, I imagine it’ll be alongside Lockhart?

It would seem a good strategy to try and promote sales of their new console by saying; “We have the most powerfule console, we have the cheapest next-gen console, if you buy either you don’t need to pay to play any game online and oh, here is 1-3 months of GamePass so you instantly have access to hundreds of games from day 1”. To me, that is a very powerful message and selling point of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.

Maybe they will get rid of xbox live gold, but include online play with game pass instead.

Then they don’t need to worry about the monthly abuse when GWG games are announced.

Get people hooked on game pass and the value it offers.

And have the ultimate version include pc/xcloud.

Also I love the tweet that game pass put out today, I was telling people they were crazy when they were saying the rebranding isn’t xbox game pass anymore despite the clear xbox logo next to game pass :stuck_out_tongue:


Nothing to be worried about here, you own those games indefinitely. If you were to cancel Gold today, you would not lose access to any game you have gotten through Gold.

Figured as much. People need to be aware that a lot of what you may see on other sites are usually wildly inaccurate. Glad Jez has nipped that in the bud. Even if he doesn’t know the full details of the plan.

Think the options left now are MP paywall is gone or there’s going to be a $60 Gamepass lite tier or something similar. Just doesn’t make sense. I’m pretty sure MP paywall is being removed.

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If it happens it will be huge. Something that Sony will struggle to compete with. They could do the same but likely won’t due to the volume of revenue that PS+ brings on its own. MS would be smart to announce this along with XSS to win a huge amount of mindshare.

If anything, Sony might roll Plus and Now into a single service to compete (basically making Now free). Given the different nature of their streaming services and the “partnership” they entered with Microsoft, I do no think their long term plans are structured to compete with Game Pass or Gold going free. They are rely on, and are poised to sell a lot of hardware and use the traditional console model that has worked for the past three decades to continue to succeed. This generation is going to be fascinating to see if everyone comes out better given the different strategies.

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