Yesterday was a busy day for Xbox news, huh? In addition to the Xbox One X being discontinued and a bunch of announcements from Xbox head Phil Spencer, it was also revealed that yearly Xbox Live Gold subscriptions had been mysteriously removed from the Microsoft Store (note - this has now been confirmed as intentional).
There is a lot of speculation floating around about what this might mean, and let's be honest - it might not mean anything at all. But it suggests there's a least a chance that Microsoft is planning to make changes to its Xbox Live Gold service, including the possibility of removing it entirely.
There appears to be two main schools of thought as to what this change could entail - either bundling Gold with the highly-popular Xbox Game Pass, or making Xbox Live multiplayer completely free and merging the Games with Gold program into Xbox Game Pass instead, which could make a lot of sense (despite the obvious financial hit).
But why would Microsoft even consider doing this? Well, it aligns with their strategy of putting the player first ahead of the device, and the ever-increasing appeal of Xbox Game Pass means the company can still rely on millions of subscribers continuing to play monthly fees for its content.
And of course, with the Xbox Series X on the horizon, an announcement that Xbox Live multiplayer was being made completely free would be a huge win, both from a marketing standpoint and for the players contemplating which next generation system to purchase this Holiday.
But again, there are no confirmations here, and this is purely just speculation based on the removal of the yearly subscription, as well as a recent prediction from industry insider Jeff Grubb who suggested Microsoft could talk about the future of Xbox Live Gold at next week's Xbox Games Showcase event.
So, what do you think? Is Microsoft preparing to make Xbox Live multiplayer completely free, will it bundle it with Xbox Game Pass instead, or is nothing going to happen at all? Share your thoughts below.