As we approach the next generation of consoles, it seems that Microsoft has removed the 12-month subscription option for its Xbox Live Gold service from its digital store.
It’s unclear why this move was made, but with the addition of the Gamepass Ultimate model that functions as a slightly more expensive Xbox Live Gold subscription, it is likely that Microsoft wants to push that heading into the launch of its Xbox Series X consoles later this year.
The 12-month subscription gave players who used Xbox Live a way to save money while still locking in the service for an entire year. Both the one-month and three-month options are still available on the Microsoft Store and through the console’s marketplace, but there is no sign of longer durations, including the six-month variation.
This makes sense for Microsoft, as Game Pass Ultimate, while markedly more expensive, is the best deal for consumers who want to make the most out of their time in the Xbox ecosystem. It provides them with online functions, free monthly games, instant access to the more than 100 games on Xbox Game Pass, and more.
Just this week, Microsoft announced that its game streaming service xCloud will be folded into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in September. That means the $15-per-month price tag has become an all-access pass to everything Xbox, though there is also no year-long option for that service either.
While this doesn’t mean a variation of the year-long subscription won’t return sometime in the future, it does seem like Microsoft is moving to retire the option moving forward. And, in a statement to Xbox-focused publication TrueAchievements, a spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft made the move intentionally.
“At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft Online Store,” a Microsoft spokesperson said to TA. “Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
This decision comes right after the xCloud/Gamepass announcement and Microsoft confirming that it was discontinuing production on its current-gen Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition consoles. As of now, this looks like more housekeeping from Microsoft heading into the Series X and next-gen.
You can still purchase physical and digital codes for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions in both six and 12-month variations from online retailers like Amazon, GameStop, and others, but you won’t be able to auto-renew them through Microsoft’s marketplaces.