Xbox's former corporate vice president Mike Ybarra suggests that the company should do away with Xbox Live Gold entirely and instead focus on Xbox Game Pass. Ybarra shared his thoughts on the matter on Friday shortly after Microsoft announced that it would be raising the prices of Xbox Live Gold before the company later reversed the decision. He also suggested that Microsoft should stop requiring people to have Xbox Live Gold in order to play free-to-play multiplayer games, a stance that Microsoft has since adopted since the comments were made.
Ybarra tweeted his thoughts on the Xbox Live Gold debacle from Friday in a reply on Twitter to Windows Central's Jez Corden. The former Xbox VP said "Get rid of Gold" and echoed some of the other sentiments people had expressed such as making free-to-play games truly free-to-play and that the raised prices had something to do with an Xbox Game Pass-related plan.
Yikes. Get rid of Gold, stop charging for multiplayer, especially in F2P games. And put energy behind ensuring Game Pass is the best deal around. Must be a plan to make Gold only people go to Game Pass to show growth there. Poor communication on this, sadly.— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) January 22, 2021
By the end of the day, however, Microsoft had reversed its decision to raise the prices of Xbox Live Gold. In fact, it went even further the other way by committing to remove the Xbox Live Gold requirement on free-to-play games like Apex Legends and others. Ybarra similarly followed up on the matter after Xbox's new stance was taken by applauding the Xbox team for the quick response.
"Good job of listening and responding from the Xbox team," Ybarra said on Twitter. "Good adjustment and clarification! F2P is now free, and not price changes after all."
The Xbox team's statements on the matter when the decision was reversed suggested that Xbox Live Gold wasn't going anywhere, so it won't be ended as Ybarra suggested, but it at least won't be required in every instance any longer.
"We're turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at center of their experience," the follow-up statement from the Xbox team shared late on Friday said. "Free-to-play games will truly be free and you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months."