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Buying an Xbox Live Gold membership was once considered a no-brainer for any Xbox fan. After all, this service lets you play multiplayer games with your friends, gives you discounts, and even rewards you with free games on a monthly basis. How can it get better than that?
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Xbox has changed drastically throughout the years, and its Xbox Live Gold membership doesn’t even seem to be worth it anymore.
1. The Free Games Are Subpar
Take a look at some of the free games you get with a PlayStation Plus subscription, and then compare that to the free games an Xbox Live Gold membership offers. You’ll immediately see a huge difference in quality.
During this month (October 2020), Gold members get three games: Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, and Sphinx & the Cursed Mummy. Meanwhile, PlayStation Plus members get Vampyr and Need for Speed Payback. It’s clear that PlayStation gives away much more popular and expensive games.
While there’s really nothing wrong with the three games that Xbox is giving away, Xbox just never shells out newer AAA titles. And it’s not just this month—Xbox does this time and time again.
In the end, it seems like Xbox chooses subpar games just to get more players to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. If Xbox doesn’t give away games that people actually want to play, they can force them to sign up for Game Pass instead.
2. The Discounts Aren’t Worth It
Xbox offers “Deals With Gold,” but let’s be honest, these deals are far from amazing. After having a Gold membership for quite some time, I can’t recall the last time I actually took advantage of one of these “deals.”
The only types of games that Xbox ever offers a discount on are indie games, games that have received terrible reviews, or semi-old games that no one cares about anymore. You might find some of the discounts enticing once in a while, they just aren’t worth paying for.
3. You Can No Longer Buy a Yearly Membership
Perhaps the nail in the coffin for Gold is the fact that Xbox did away with the yearly membership plan. Now, you can only purchase a monthly or quarterly membership.
No matter which subscription you choose, you can expect to pay $100 or more for one year of Gold. This is a massive disappointment to anyone (including myself) who previously paid only $60 for an entire year of Gold.
To make matters worse, the price of Xbox Series X games are likely going to be higher than the $60 norm—tack a Gold subscription on top of all the new games you buy, and you’re going to go broke!
4. Xbox Is Focusing More on Game Pass Than Gold
Like I said earlier, it seems like Xbox is cheating Gold members out of great free games thanks to Game Pass. You can subscribe to Game Pass for $10/month, and you essentially get to “rent” digital copies of games from the Game Pass library.
Xbox also offers Game Pass Ultimate at $15/month, which includes a Gold membership, as well as a slew of other perks. And did I forget to mention that Game Pass members get access to Xbox’s cloud gaming as well?
As you can see, Xbox makes a Game Pass subscription really enticing—but for people who actually want to own their games, it’s not that attractive. Xbox is pouring its attention into raking in more Game Pass subscribers, and may even be slowly moving away from Gold.
It’s Time to Unsubscribe From Gold
Xbox Live Gold just isn’t worth it anymore. It’s fun to play games with friends, but the rising membership price kills the enjoyment. That said, these prices are just one of the reasons why you should rethink purchasing a next-gen console.