Rumors have been swirling today from various well-connected sources saying that Microsoft is going to soon introduce a combined subscription for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. This combination would bundle both of the Xbox’s fairly essential services into one subscription service.
The rumor comes first from known leaker hoXod on Twitter, who pegged the combined bundle at $14.99. Thurott and then later The Verge then came out to confirm that their sources have indicated the same thing. For month-to-month users, that works out to a $5 savings. For everyone else, it’s not really much of a savings, but is likely more convenient for the end user.
For Microsoft, this is likely the best way to get players hesitant to subscribe to Game Pass for longterm periods to stay subscribed. While there has been a bevvy of free trials and what one might describe as Game Pass-ideal titles that have boosted numbers, maintained subscriptions have been a lot more difficult. When it is tied to online multiplayer access, people might be more willing to pony up the extra cash per month.
It isn’t clear if Microsoft still plans to offer these things separately, but it seems unlikely they will force the bundle at this juncture. In the future, though, it is not hard to see a situation where one day Microsoft does not delineate between the two subscriptions in the future. It’s a smart way to backdoor people into accepting a subscription service as a key feature rather than a side thing for what will end up as being a lower overall gaming cost for a lot of consumers.