Both Sony and Microsoft have been charging gamers a subscription fee to access online multiplayer. Even Nintendo does this with the Switch, but it looks like Microsoft could be considering ditching the paid subscription, instead, they might be making it completely free for gamers to play online. Would the other follow suit?
This news comes from a post by well-known Xbox insider Klobrille who was quoted as saying in a forum post, “The question is not if the online multiplayer paywall falls. The question is when.” If this is true, this would be a huge shift for Microsoft in terms of strategy, and could be a loss in revenue.
There is some evidence to suggest that this could be correct. Microsoft recently stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions and are offering only 1 month and 3 month options. It is possible that Microsoft is preparing to make the transition and it doesn’t want to get stuck with too many legacy subscriptions.
This could mean a loss of revenue for Microsoft, but some speculate that Microsoft is hoping that this could encourage gamers to sign up for the Xbox Game Pass service, which is basically like Netflix for games. Microsoft has not yet officially commented on these rumors.