After 20 Years, Xbox Live Is Dead

According to a leaked screenshot showing the different Game Pass tiers, Microsoft will finally drop the Xbox Live brand after 21 years on September 1, replacing it with Xbox Game Pass Core.


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As reported by Xbox Info Cafe, Core will be priced the same as Live Gold at $9.99 a month, but unlike Gold, you’ll get access to a “catalog of over 25 high-quality games on console”. This is a similar story to when PS Plus and Now merged to form a three-tier service, folding the existing online play tier into the wider subscription model.

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According to XIC, the yearly pricing will remain the same at $59.99. However, Games with Gold will also end on September 1, meaning that you won’t be able to get free monthly games anymore. Instead, you’ll have access to a library of 25 games that include Among Us, Descender, 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.

XIC reports that Microsoft plans to expand this catalogue of games in the months following Core’s launch and Live Gold’s shutdown, but we’ll have to wait and see what gets added to the service. Otherwise, Core will function much like Live Gold, being the base requirement for accessing online multiplayer. However, with it being tied into Game Pass, you’ll now get the same discounts and special deals that would typically only apply to Game Pass subscribers.

Xbox Live was rolled out on November 15, 2002, for the very first Xbox console. Unlike its competitors at the time, such as Dreamcast, Live offered a broadband connection that allowed users to download levels, maps, characters, and other DLC, as well as being able to play online with friends from across the world. It proved a huge success for Xbox and marked a shift in console development, as Sony developed PSN for the PS3, later putting it behind a paywall for the PS4 much as Xbox had from the start.

Despite its two decades of success and impact on the games industry, Live’s end was inevitable with the growth of Game Pass and subscription models. Now, it lies in a grave somewhere with Xbox Live for Windows.

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