Microsoft Apologises & Reverses Xbox Live Price Hike
Microsoft has walked back on its plans to increase the price of Xbox live after outraged gamers threatened to abandon the console in favour of PlayStation.
The tech giant has announced plans earlier this week to charge $59.99 ($A77) for a six-month membership to Xbox Live Gold and $120 for a year.
The same price ($59.99) currently buys a full year of membership.
Microsoft also revealed it planned to raise the price of one-month membership by $1 and increase the three-month rate by $5.
After the announcement, hordes of angry gamers and Xbox fans took to social media to blast Microsoft for its ill-timed price hike.
“When they are rolling in dough in the middle of a pandemic, jacking prices is a pretty rough thing to do to your subscribers,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Increasing the cost (doubling) of @xbox Live service was REALLY shortsighted when there is a pandemic going on and with so many people unemployed AND so many unable to get their hands on the next gen consoles,” another complained.
In response to the Backlash, Microsoft quickly reversed its decision to raise the price of Xbox Live and apologised to its users.
Xbox shared an official statement on Twitter, writing: “Today was not great. We always try to do our best for you and today we missed the mark. We hear you, and we’re reversing our Xbox Live Gold pricing updates.”
Microsoft also shared a blogpost, apologising for attempting to raise the price of its online gaming service and acknowledged how crucial affordable gaming is during this time.
We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.
We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.
If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.