Microsoft is dropping the Xbox Live Gold requirement for party chat
This is part of Microsoft’s larger pivot towards reducing the number of online features that are locked behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall
Microsoft has announced that Xbox party chat will soon be free to all users.
This is an expansion of the company’s recent decision to remove the need for a premium Xbox Live Gold subscription to access free-to-play multiplayer games like Fortnite.
Both changes are being tested now in the Xbox Insider beta testing program, according to the Xbox Preview Program’s Brad Rossetti.
Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha today we are flighting some new features. Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) March 24, 2021
Rossetti says these changes are being tested among Insiders before they become available to all Xbox owners, although he didn’t provide a specific timeframe for when that will happen.
Earlier this week, Microsoft also confirmed a rebranding of ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network.’ For nearly 20 years, Xbox Live has been used to refer to Xbox’s online ecosystem, but Microsoft has changed the name “to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Via: The Verge