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Goodbye Xbox Live Gold?

It could be the end of an era – Xbox Live Gold could become a new tier of Game Pass called “Core”.


And while you’ll still need it for online multiplayer, the monthly game selection will be replaced with a library of 25 games. Although it may be that the catalogue continues to grow.

And obviously this rumour, coming via Xbox Info Cafe, wouldn’t be the biggest Xbox news of the week even if it’s true. After Sony accepted a 10-year contract for Call of Duty yesterday, it’s possible the Activision deal could be closed as early as this week. A big week for gaming news if true.

This change would not make a massive difference practically.


It would kill the monthly games – and not a moment too soon. The selection has been mixed to say the least for years. Game Pass has clearly been the focus.

And if the tier list above turns out to be real, that will continue to be true. Core offers a lot less value for a dollar less.

This will presumably bring everybody still hanging onto Xbox Live into Game Pass. And the value only really starts at that $10.99 tier.

The games included in Core will apparently be 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 The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

Games received through Games With Gold in the past will remain on your account.

Goodbye Xbox Live Gold

The biggest question here is what the hell is going on with online multiplayer.

Because it seems from the Tier list that you’d need Game Pass Core and Console if you want to play online multiplayer without subscribing to Ultimate. Which makes no sense.

The way a tier system is supposed to work is that things get better the more you pay. But here that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Now logically this will fix itself with an official announcement. There is no way Console includes everything of Core except for the multiplayer. But as we saw with PlayStation Plus, these tiers don’t always sit as they should.

But not including multiplayer in the Console tier would be a massive misstep. It’s confusing, it’s expensive – it’ll drive cancellations rather than upgrades.

We’ve expected Xbox Live Gold to disappear for years. The terminology was removed from user agreements at the beginning of the generation. Insiders were saying it would disappear around the same time.

And yet until now, there hasn’t really been any further mention of it. So this seems like a safe bet.

If there’s one thing that’d put me off – outside of the confusion with where online sits – it would the pricing. You get a huge amount for a dollar within this tier group. Core feels positively pointless next to Console. That’s obviously an incentive to upgrade but at that point, why even bother?

Hopefully this will be cleared up in the coming days with an official announcement. And even at an outside push, we won’t have long to wait to confirm this. The change is supposed to happen on September 1.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott