The Xbox Live Gold paywall crumbles and free-to-play games will be really free


Shortly after Microsoft revealed it’s changing Xbox Live to the Xbox Network, they put another pin in the Live’s coffin. As promised, Microsoft is in the process of axing the subscription to Xbox Live Gold requirement to play free-to-play games. At the moment, only members partaking in the Xbox Insider program can utilize the new feature. It shouldn’t be too long until everyone can take advantage.

If you want to jump right into test driving the feature, you can install the Xbox Insider Hub and become an Insider. Once you’re a member, you will get to beta test and gain early access to updates and new features. However, Microsoft has made it clear we’re playing around with still-in-development features. The occasional bugs may pop up.

Note: The Xbox Insider program sees players’ leveling up’ their Insider status. Gamers will start at the Omega or Delta Level. We can increase our Insider level to Beta. Unfortunately, only Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead members may take part in testing out the free-to-play feature. The only way to become one of the Alpha tiers is by invite-only.

Other Xbox Live Gold features are open to all

Call of Duty Warzone, Destiny 2, Apex Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Warframe are among the best free-to-play games. Still, most gamers know that party chat was for Xbox Live Gold members only. Surprisingly, Microsoft also allows Xbox owners without Gold to use Party Chat and Looking For Groups now. Brad Rossetti of the Xbox Preview Program announced the change on Twitter and the official Xbox website

Xbox Live Gold - Warzone is free-to-play

Last year, Microsoft announced a price increase for Xbox Live Gold. When walking it back, they offered the promised to remove free-to-play games from the subscription paywall. It’s nice to see the company follow-through on listening to their very vocal fans. Offering free-to-play games but hiding them behind a paywall is lousy customer service. So, here’s to change! 

Are you happy Microsoft is obliterating the paywall? Let me know in the comments.