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Xbox online multiplayer will be free, Xbox Live Gold to be discontinued claims new source

This gen could be its last gen (pic: Microsoft)

A new rumour suggests that Xbox Live Gold is not going to last into the next generation, and that online multiplayer will be free next gen.

When it was first noticed that Microsoft has stopped selling 12-month subscriptions for Xbox Live Gold there was really only two explanations: a temporary fault with their store system or Xbox Live Gold is shortly going to be discontinued.

Not only has the option to buy a 12-month subscription not returned but VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb has suggested that Xbox Live Gold ‘is going away and playing online multiplayer will be free’.

Asked by a fan if he thinks Xbox Live Gold really Is being discontinued, or just made unnecessary for free-to-play games, he answered, ‘I think it’s going away entirely’.

Xbox Live Gold is going away and playing online multiplayer will be free. They will not force you into Ultimate to play online. — grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020

I think it’s going away entirely. — grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020

It’s unclear whether Grubb is merely making an educated guess or if he has some insider knowledge of the situation, but from his comments he doesn’t seem 100% certain of Microsoft’s plans.

Xbox Live Gold is currently required to play even free-to-play games, such as Fortnite , unlike on the PlayStation 4 and Switch where free-to-play games are exempt from needing any kind of subscription.

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It could be that Microsoft is changing it’s set-up to something more in line with its rivals but the missing subscription option and the rumours that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play really do make it seem that they’re getting rid of Xbox Live Gold entirely.

Instead, their focus for the next generation is set to be Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud, especially after the recent news of combining the two into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate .

If true, that will then put pressure on Sony to stop charging for online play, something which they have not shown any sign of doing so far.

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