Will Microsoft really remove the Xbox Live Gold paywall for multiplayer?

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Dec 17, 2013
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Xbox Live Gold changed the entire industry, but in 2020 it's starting to look a little old fashioned.
Xbox Live Gold is a recurring subscription service required to access multiplayer services on Xbox consoles. It costs around $60 per year if you purchase annual time cards, although Microsoft itself is no longer offering the option to buy 12 months of Xbox Live Gold digitally, although it remains available via some other retailers.
Microsoft's official line on why they've decided to do away with the 12-month digital subscription is fairly vague and non-committal, but it hasn't stopped rife speculation that Microsoft has removed it because it's gearing up to do away with Xbox Live Gold entirely.
Is this a realistic thing to expect in the future? Yes, it is. But I would be surprised if it happens any time soon.

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