As I had previously reported a little over a week ago, which you can read right here. The rumor mill has been buzzing with the idea that Microsoft may just be removing the paywall for their online multiplayer service, thus making Xbox Live Gold free for everybody.
The original rumor was created by prominent Xbox insider Klobrille and was backed by the fact that MS has removed the option to purchase 12-month Live cards from their online store and retail chains.
Today, Venturebeat reporter Jeff Grubb backed up the claim, well he more like flat out confirmed it was happening.
Xbox Live Gold is going away and playing online multiplayer will be free. They will not force you into Ultimate to play online. They will not force you into Ultimate to play online. Fortnite proved that having huge engagement can lead to even bigger returns. And getting rid of the multiplayer paywall can increase engagement.
As of right now, you need to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold in order to play free-to-play games such as Warzone, Fortnite, and Apex Legends. If Microsoft does remove that, it's going to open those player bases up, which is going to bring in more money for those respective developers - and ultimately Microsoft them self.
Combine that with Game Pass growing in popularity, which is making a lot of indie developers extremely happy, they could just win the online war next generation.
The big question now is, how is Sony going to respond to this? Sony just started to require PlayStation Plus to access most of their online titles with the release of the PlayStation 4. Up until that point, PlayStation Plus was a free service. If Microsoft is going to remove that paywall, Sony will have to counter with something of their own.
Sony does have their own streaming service called PlayStation Now, but it's not even close to being as good as the Microsoft service, that offers new, just released games, on day one.
This coming generation is already gearing up to be very interesting.
As always, this has been James with Game Fix. Game on everybody!