Microsoft is sunsetting Xbox Live Gold on September 14 and replacing it with a new plan called Xbox Game Pass Core. Game Pass Core costs $9.99 a month or $59.99 annually and includes online multiplayer, deals and discounts for members, and access to a curated library of over 25 Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One games which will grow over time.
In addition to replacing Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass Core, Microsoft is also ending the Games with Gold program. Since 2013, Microsoft has been giving Gold subscribers free games every month, but that streak ends on September 1, 2023.
If you currently subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, you will automatically become a Game Pass Core member on September 14. The pricing won’t change, and you’ll immediately have access to the new game library. Any Xbox One games you got from Games with Gold will be accessible for as long as you have a Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate subscription. All Xbox 360 games you redeemed will be kept in your library regardless of subscription status.
Here’s a partial list of games that will be included with Xbox Game Pass Core at launch:
- Among Us
- Dishonored 2
- Doom Eternal
- Fable Anniversary
- Fallout 4
- Fallout 76
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Human Fall Flat
- Ori & The Will of the Wisps
- Psychonauts 2
- State of Decay 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Microsoft says new titles will be added to the catalog two to three times a year.
Although Xbox fans certainly have fond memories of Xbox Live Gold, the writing has been on the wall for far too long. Game Pass has, understandably, been Microsoft’s focus for the past several years, and trying to differentiate the two programs hasn’t been easy.
Plus, the Games with Gold perk hasn’t felt like a value-add in years. This is not to take anything away from the games themselves, because there have been plenty of gems, but many of these titles are over a decade old, have been given away more than once, or both. Microsoft stopped competing with Sony’s monthly freebies long ago, as evidenced by July’s giveaways. Microsoft offered Darkwood and When the Past Was Around. Sony gave away Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Alan Wake Remastered, and Endling – Extinction is Forever.
Now, rather than crossing their fingers and hoping the latest free game will actually be from this decade, Xbox Game Pass Core subscribers will have access to some of the best first- and third-party games Microsoft and its partners have to offer.
Change is hard, and there will be plenty of naysayers, but I think this evolution is long overdue, and one that most subscribers will end up preferring.