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Xbox Reportedly Still Plans to Drop Xbox Live Gold in the Future, Says Jeff Grubb

Xbox Reportedly Still Plans to Drop Xbox Live Gold in the Future, Says Jeff Grubb - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 August 2021 / 1,942 Views

Microsoft earlier this year dropped the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free-to-play games on Xbox consoles. 

VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb during his GrubbSnax show on Giant Bomb this week once again claimed Microsoft plans to drop Xbox Live Gold altogether sometime in the future once Xbox Game Pass reaches a certain milestone of subscribers. 

"In the past, I’ve said Xbox Live Gold is going to go away, and when I started saying that it was when Xbox Live Gold was still required for free-to-play games," said Grubb via VideoGamesChronicle.

"And I knew for a fact that they were going to make a change before Halo Infinite, and I thought at least it would be dropped for free-to-play games because they weren’t going to charge people to play Halo on Xbox when they weren’t charging you to play it on PC or whatever.

"Then they decided to raise the price and it looked weird, right? Why would they do that if they were going to get rid of Xbox Live Gold? I just wanted to reiterate, Xbox Live Gold is still on a board somewhere saying 'this is going to go away at some point.' Whether or not they’re actively talking about it right now, I don’t know, but they still have it on a roadmap saying 'Xbox Live Gold will be dropped at some point in the future.'"

"[Dropping Gold] might take years, because the focus right now still very much is getting Game Pass into a very healthy position, he added. "It's okay right now, but […] before E3 things were starting to kind of slow down and I think there were maybe some people at Microsoft getting a little bit antsy about it because they’re like, 'we do need this thing to grow,' the problem is they were waiting for big games to come to the service.

"It seems that E3 really helped Game Pass hit its stride where people can now look into the future and say: 'If I get it now I’m going to have all these games, but then there’s going to be this and this and this right in the immediate future, and then these big things on the horizon.'

"So Microsoft’s just kind of [keeping their] heads down on getting user acquisition, and that means 'Xbox Live will go away but we need to get to a certain threshold with Game Pass before we can make that choice and unplug that revenue source because we have enough coming from something else.'"

Grubb believes once Xbox Game Pass hits 30 million subscribers Microsoft will reassess their plans with Xbox Live Gold, but they likely won't drop it altogether until Game Pass hits 40 to 50 million active subscribers. 

"I heard [it was] between 19 million and 23 million before E3, but they’re at least approaching 23 million," said Grubb. "And as we get close to Halo I bet they easily hit 23-25 million by the end of this year, and once they’re at 30 million they’ll probably reassess what they’re doing with Xbox Live Gold.

"[It] probably still won’t go away until it’s probably closer to something like 40-50 million active users for Game Pass, but all that stuff seems within their grasp right now as long as they keep up the marketing side and promotional side along with all these games that are getting announced.

"We’ll see how it goes with Halo. If Halo is a big lightning rod for adoption for Game Pass then they’ll know: 'Oh, and when Starfield comes that’s going to be our next major lightning rod, and everything in between is going to be sort of connective tissue.'

"And as we get these big games coming out on a faster cadence – and by 2023 they should be hitting a pretty fast cadence in terms of releasing games – Game Pass should at that point really hit its stride and they should be well on their way to getting rid of Xbox Live Gold. But the point is, for now, Xbox Live Gold is still sticking around, but it’s still on the roadmap to go away for good."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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11 Comments
Bandorr (on 09 July 2021)

I feel like Jeff gets more things wrong than anyone else. I'm not sure that last "rumor" I've seen of his that was correct.

  • +8
gtotheunit91 Bandorr (on 09 July 2021)

That's exactly what I was thinking. It's like any tidbit of information he gets, he immediately throws it out there without any sort of digging to see if there's any truth to it.

That being said, I'd be more willing to believe this rumor since Live Gold is an oddball with Game Pass getting more and more subscribers. And with Xbox being natively integrated with Windows 11 and without the need of any subscription other than Game Pass for PC, there's really not a place for Live Gold going forward since Microsoft is wanting the Xbox experience to be unified across all platforms it's on. I can see Microsoft wording it like "you already pay a subscription to play online, why not do that while also getting hundreds of games?"

  • -2
Imaginedvl Bandorr (on 09 July 2021)

Yes, he is not an insider at all, just a someone making tone of guesses... Sometime one of them is right and then people give him credit for it :) Kinda sucks;

  • +4
Spade (on 09 July 2021)

Jeff "Scarlett Nexus is day One on Gamepass" Grubb.
These insiders...

  • +6
Pemalite (on 09 July 2021)

Hoping it sticks around. 4 free games a month, two of those you get to keep forever (Xbox+Xbox 360) has made it worth the purchase for me.

No interest in Gamepass though.

But if they do scuttle Xbox Live! Gold, I am wondering what will happen with the Xbox One games? Does Microsoft just take them away from you?

  • +3
Angelv577 (on 10 July 2021)

He said the same thing about the switch oled after failing in his prediction of a switch pro. he just throw stuff and see what stick

  • +2
Blood_Tears (on 09 July 2021)

Grubb is just the new Pachter.

  • +2
LudicrousSpeed (on 10 July 2021)

I am of the mind that they will remove the Gold barrier as well, because it doesn't make sense with the whole "play anywhere" movement while games require Gold for MP on one platform but not the others.

  • 0
method114 (on 09 July 2021)

Interesting that he mentioned game pass numbers stalling. I wonder if this is why they haven’t updated subscriber numbers during that investor meeting? Then again reading comments here this guy sounds unreliable.

  • 0
KurigoYT (on 09 July 2021)

Only the mountains stay in one place.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 09 July 2021)

I highly doubt that. There is no reason to and it makes too much money.

  • -1