Leave a Comment

To play games online, Xbox 360 owners must sign up for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. How many gamers actually pay this monthly fee? Only about half.

According to Seattle Post-Intelligencer, only about 56% of Xbox Live users worldwide coughed up the dough for Xbox Live Gold in February 2008. In the US, the figure was at around 60%. Those numbers seem to have held steady since then in spite of the launch of the New Xbox Experience in November 2008.

Microsoft has made about $1 billion through Xbox Live since the console launched so it's tough to term these low-ish numbers as a "failure" of any kind. I'm curious what percentage of PS3/Wii owners, who don't have to pay for online gaming, actually do so. The story here might not be that people are dissuading from playing online by fees but that not as many people play online as everyone thinks. It's surprising, considering how the industry seems to have shifted heavily toward multiplayer gaming.