Home Gaming Microsoft Justifies Xbox Live Price Increase

Microsoft Justifies Xbox Live Price Increase

2 min read


Yesterday, the annual price of Xbox Live increased from $49.99 to $59.99 in the US. It’s not really much of an increase – that extra $10 equates to  about 83c US or R5.80 per month, but it’s still an increase in world where the competitor’s online platform is free.

That considered, how do they justify the increase? It’s all about the exclusives, of course!

“In 2002 it was strictly multiplayer gaming,” said Microsoft’s Xbox Live marketing man Craig Davison to Gamasutra. “Now we get those Call of Duty map packs before anybody else does. We’ve got Gears and Halo, of course, as exclusives. We continue to get exclusives on the service as well. And we’ve gone from 400,000 members in our first year to 25 million.”

I’d buy that one, if the COD map packs were free to Xbox live users, instead of 1200 MS points.

“So during that time, we’ve definitely got to fund it, and we want to add more and more and more. ESPN is a great example. No extra charge for Xbox Live Gold members. But we want to continue to bring that content in. We also want to continue to innovate on all dimensions, whether it’s social, entertainment, or gaming. So there you go.”

“Back in 2002, we launched at 49 bucks, which works out to about $4.17 a month, and we’ve held steady for that entire time,”  he said/

“Now what we’ve always been very passionate about is that quality needs to be there, but more importantly, the consistency. So if I’m playing Halo: Reach, Gears of War, Call of Duty, the consistency of the service and the experience needs to be there regardless of what that entertainment application is.”

“So that has been critical. As you can imagine, the costs associated with maintaining a service at that level and making sure all of those features are consistent, we’re hitting that quality bar, we’re adding the customer service infrastructure necessary, we’re accommodating all of the same social features and functionality too, there’s a cost. Infrastructure costs, of course. And we’re continuing to bring more and more content.”

Xbox Live is a great service, but when the competition’s free you really ought to look at ways of brining the cost down, making it a more attractive proposition instead of raising it. On the other hand though, if R5.80 per month is just too much, you ought to re-evaluate things a bit. Maybe you ought to sell that console and use the money on things like..say…food?

Source : Gamasutra

Last Updated: November 2, 2010


  1. NiteFenix

    November 2, 2010 at 15:20

    Food? What’s that? Can I eat it? 😛


  2. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 2, 2010 at 15:20

    It’s all those XBLA exclusives and COD map timed exclusives lol!


  3. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 2, 2010 at 15:24

    It means no more sushi for you! 😀


  4. RSA-Ace

    November 2, 2010 at 15:25

    What is R5.80 per month? Isn’t Live more R50 per month?

    And the price of points in SA? What justifies that?! [BTW who’s writing the article Gavin? :tongue: ]


  5. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 2, 2010 at 15:26

    LOL! Geoff, check your currency conversion! 😀


  6. Geoffrey Tim

    November 2, 2010 at 15:36

    Oops, it’s much closer to R33 a month.


  7. Uberutang

    November 2, 2010 at 15:36

    PSN FTW! :devil: :za:


  8. al360

    November 2, 2010 at 15:38

    what a load of bull From MS they making $$$$ from any angle possible and that’s the bottom line if others can do it for free and still make profit then thats a company i’ll support as that not trying to rape u all they doing is good business whereby MS don’t really care
    they like Bobby they wanna squeeze water out of every rock they can find


  9. Geoffrey Tim

    November 2, 2010 at 15:40

    The $10 annual increase equates to R5.80 per month for the /increase/.

    Live itself, even after the increase is about R35 per month.


  10. Geoffrey Tim

    November 2, 2010 at 15:41

    checked again, my maths was fine. R5.80 is the monthly cost of the $10 annual increase.


  11. NiteFenix

    November 2, 2010 at 15:41

    But I like my Wasabi! *runs away crying like a sissy girl*


  12. Uberutang

    November 2, 2010 at 15:45

    Less and less people on LIVE = they need to charge more to keep the boat floating?


  13. AC!D

    November 2, 2010 at 15:55

    So basically Gold users MS is saying that by paying for Live and the increase you deprive PS3 owners of COD map packs for a couple of weeks. I know Aussious will love that one :biggrin: Money well spent!!!

    Awaits the usual response from the MS apologists with eager anticipation

    This is why PSN is growing and growing and PS3 is currently the most connected console on the planet.


  14. RSA-Ace

    November 2, 2010 at 16:05

    Ah I get it. You weren’t very clear :devil:

    Live in SA will be R599 for 12 months. So R50 per month.


  15. Luna

    November 2, 2010 at 16:18

    I think it’s foolish for them to raise the price right now. Since PlayStation Plus is out, they could go on about how much more value XBL is than PSN.

    Don’t get me wrong, I also think XBL is a well done service. Things are intergrated right into the console so much better then the PS3… So multiplayer gaming is a LOT better there, but still, it’s free on PSN.


  16. Geoffrey Tim

    November 2, 2010 at 16:19

    I’ve updated it for clarity.


  17. Luna

    November 2, 2010 at 16:23

    I’ve updated it for clarity, too. I put on my glasses! :biggrin:


  18. lans

    November 2, 2010 at 16:30

    Hey Aussious defend this!


  19. lans

    November 2, 2010 at 16:30

    not even xbot can spin this story!


  20. Luna

    November 2, 2010 at 16:31

    That’s because I’m not an Xbot, PlayStation fanboy.


  21. Real Aussious

    November 2, 2010 at 17:01

    Yo! Shut yo mouth Ians, yo candy ass rabbit. Xbox 360 > PS3 and I would gladly pay $1000 for XBOX LIVE cos XBOX LIVE is hardcore. Kinect is hardcore too, cos ma mother loves Oprah, and I love ma mother!



  22. Gavin Mannion

    November 2, 2010 at 22:01

    I actually think the reason for this increase is far worse, Xbox Live was released and marketed as the price of a game. All games used to be $49.99 but recently some of the more hyped games have been coming out at $59.99 and I think Microsoft’s move is showing us that all future titles will now be $59.99


  23. Edmond

    November 2, 2010 at 23:25

    Well this punches the deal…a second PS3 instead of my first 360 (I have a loud fan already so no point in adding a second one…even if it is stealthy this time around!). MS took too long to bring the original xbox to us (that’s why I went for the PS2 isntead) and without live and an expensive wifi addon (remember all those xbots with their “who needs wifi with a console?” story?

    Anyway this isn’t meant to be an attack (my bro has a 360 which is how I know how loud they are) but rather of a “well done MS for nailing another one in their for me” note for the record.


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