Microsoft will remove the subscription requirement for using party chat, along with the necessity for it to play online free-to-play games.

16:26, 25 Mar 2021

More good news for Xbox players! After the recent announcement that an Xbox Live Gold subscription would no longer be required to play online free-to-play games such as Rocket League and Fortnite, Microsoft have now revealed that the service will soon no longer be necessary for party chat. 

After announcing plans to raise the price of Xbox Live Gold memberships, and drastically reversing the decision after negative feedback, many now wonder what the point of the subscription service is, especially after the most recent news that free-to-play online multiplayer games would no longer require the service to play online. 

Microsoft's Brad Rossetti tweeted out that Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha would no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership for "multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox". He also explained that these service changes would be tested ahead of "general availability".

 

If all goes well and these changes are received positively by those involved, a full public rollout should be expected soon.

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Xbox Live Gold currently offers services such as two free games per month, and savings of up to 50% in the Microsoft store, similar to the PlayStation Plus service offered by Sony, which also offers free titles, discounts, and access to online multiplayer games.

However, if these new changes roll out soon, Microsoft may have to offer more in order to keep subscriptions rolling in, and keep current members interested, when Fortnite fans will soon be able to squad up and maintain comms with their team, without parting with any of their hard-earned cash. 

 

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