Originally reported by The Verge, Microsoft issued an official statement confirming the name change. “Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated to the Microsoft Service Agreement,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Xbox Live Gold is Microsoft’s long-running online subscription service where for $9.99 a month, players will have access to online gaming as well as some free monthly games through Games With Gold.
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Xbox previously announced a price hike for Xbox Live Gold that would double the price of the service, but changed course and said prices will remind unchanged. Furthermore, free-to-play games, like Fortnite, will no longer require Xbox Live Gold for online play.
Xbox also added Xbox Live Gold perks into its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription which also includes Xbox Game Pass access for a total of $15 a month.
With the name change, this means Microsoft’s online services will now be called Xbox Network. The subscription to access online play will still be called Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also include access to Xbox Network, along with the library of games.
Seems simple enough, right?
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.