Microsoft has announced that it is retiring its long-running Xbox Live Gold service and replacing it with a new subscription tier called Xbox Game Pass Core. The change will take effect on September 14, 2023, and will offer a more streamlined and affordable way for Xbox gamers to enjoy online multiplayer and a curated selection of games.
Xbox Game Pass Core will cost $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year, which is the same price as the current Xbox Live Gold plan. However, instead of getting four free games every month through Games with Gold, subscribers will get access to over 25 games from the Xbox Game Pass catalog, which features some of the most popular and critically acclaimed titles on Xbox.
Some of the games that will be available on Xbox Game Pass Core are Among Us, Doom Eternal, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Psychonauts 2. These games will be updated regularly and can be downloaded or streamed on Xbox consoles, PCs, or mobile devices. Subscribers will also get member deals and discounts on games and add-ons in the Microsoft Store.
Games with Gold, which was launched in 2013 as a perk for Xbox Live Gold members, will end on September 1, 2023. The feature offered two Xbox One and two Xbox 360 games every month for free download, but often received criticism for the quality and relevance of the games. The last batch of Games with Gold titles will be announced in August.
Available Games at Launch
- Among Us
- Dishonored 2
- Doom Eternal
- Fable Anniversary
- Fallout 4
- Fallout 76
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
- Human Fall Flat
- Ori & The Will of the Wisps
- Psychonauts 2
- State of Decay 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
What Happens to Your Xbox Live Gold Account?
Existing Xbox Live Gold subscribers will not have to worry about losing their benefits or paying more for the new service. They will automatically transition to Xbox Game Pass Core on September 14, 2023, with no change in pricing or benefits. They will also keep any Games with Gold titles they have already claimed or downloaded.
Xbox Live Gold was one of the first online gaming services when it launched in 2002 and revolutionized the industry with its multiplayer network features, such as voice chat, parties, achievements, and cross-play. However, in recent years, it has faced competition from other platforms and services that offer similar or better features for free or at a lower cost.
With Xbox Game Pass Core, Microsoft hopes to attract more gamers to its ecosystem and provide them with a better value and experience. The new service is part of Microsoft's broader vision of making gaming more accessible and inclusive for everyone.