Both Sony and Microsoft have been charging gamers a subscription in order to access online multiplayer. Even Nintendo got in on the action with the Switch, but it seems that Microsoft could be considering ditching the paid subscription, instead they might be making it completely free for gamers to play online with each other.
This is according to a post by well-known Xbox insider Klobrille who was quoted as saying in a forum post, “The question is not if the online multiplayer paywall falls. The question is when.” Assuming this is true, this could represent a huge shift for Microsoft in terms of strategy, and could also represent a potential loss in revenue.
There is some evidence to suggest that this could be true. Microsoft recently stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, instead offering only 1 month and 3 month options. It is possible that Microsoft is getting ready to make the transition and don’t want to get stuck with too many legacy subscriptions.
While this could mean a loss of revenue for Microsoft, some speculate that Microsoft is hoping that this could encourage gamers to sign up for the Xbox Game Pass service, which is basically like the Netflix for games. Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the rumors so take it with a grain of salt for now.