Microsoft has confirmed that it is no longer selling one-year Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, leading to speculation about the future.
“At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft Online Store,” a Microsoft statement explains. “Customers can still sign up for a one month or three-month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
The one-year subscription offered a healthy discount for the 12-month period when compared to the one- and three-month options. But with Microsoft suddenly awash in Xbox-branded subscriptions, some are wondering whether Xbox Live Gold has run its course.
More to the point, Xbox Live Gold has perhaps run its course. The subscription was initially offered as a fairly dubious paid option next to what was once called Xbox Live Silver, a free offering. But today, Microsoft offers three more lucrative Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, each of which is paid and more expensive than Xbox Live Gold. And those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the most expensive version, get Xbox Live Gold as part of that membership.
As with the recent news about Microsoft halting the manufacturing of the Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, what we could be seeing here is a temporary situation as Microsoft gears up for its next-generation consoles and services offerings. In other words, it’s possible that Microsoft will simply kill Xbox Live Gold when the Project xCloud service is rolled into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate this fall.