Microsoft may be planning a big announcement soon regarding its oldest-running Xbox subscription services. According to a leak, Xbox Live Gold is soon being axed, and Microsoft is introducing a new Xbox Game Pass subscription tier to keep some of the benefits while changing the rest.
Spotted by leakster Wario64, a Korean web portal has leaked some information regarding this apparent transition, which is possible from promotional materials. It states that after over 20 years of service, the Xbox Live branding is being dropped in September.
Alongside it, Games with Gold is going away too, the monthly 'free' games promotion that kicked off in 2013 with the Xbox 360 for Gold subscribers and is even active now.
To replace Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft is reportedly introducing "Xbox Game Pass Core", a brand-new subscription that will grant online multiplayer access to Xbox console owners much like Gold. Instead of monthly bonus games though, it's stated that this will offer a bundle of well-known titles to subscribers from the regular Game Pass vault.
Per the leak, this will have over 25 games, including Among Us, Descenders, Dishonored 2, DOOM Eternal, Fable Anniversary, Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Grounded, Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Wars 2, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Human Fall Flat, INSIDE, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Psychonauts 2, State of Decay 2, and Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The selection is slated to increase later, possibly every month.
Xbox Game Pass Core's pricing will reportedly remain the same as Xbox Live Gold: $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year. Any previously claimed Games with Gold titles will also remain attached to the relevant accounts, while subscribers are also gaining the discount offers available with Game Pass access.
Something that may irk Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers is that they seem to be losing the monthly Games with Gold promotions without receiving anything in return. Though a cutback already happened in October of last year, with Microsoft pulling the free Xbox 360 games offer.
As always, take this leak with a grain of salt until an official announcement arrives from Microsoft. This is not the first time that rumors of Xbox Live Gold going the way of the Dodo has surfaced either. If confirmation is incoming though, expect it to drop sometime this week.