It looks like the cost of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be going up, but only for folks living in six countries.
According to the initial report from Gameinformer, Xbox Live customers in certain regions have started receiving email notifications that they will soon see a price change in their area. This information has since been confirmed by Microsoft, who said the changes are due to currency fluctuation in Austria, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.
The most surprising part of this shift is not that the cost of Xbox Live is going up, but the degree by which it is going up in one particular region. The email being sent to gamers in South Africa, for instance, explains that, as of June 20, the cost of a Gold subscription will shift from the current R 50,000 to R 159,000. That’s triple the cost, which would be a bit shocking if it wasn’t for the fact that, at present, the region is paying about a third of what folks in, for example, the US, are paying. By comparison, South Africa will shift from paying about a third of what customers in the US are paying to just a little bit more.
Again, this is all based on currency fluctuation and things like this happen from time to time. Still, it has to be a bummer for folks who were used to paying a little over $3 a month for the service to now be paying a little over $10 a month.
So if folks in the listed regions want to keep playing Halo and Destiny online, or take advantage of other perks like the monthly Games with Gold, they’re going to have to start forking over a bit more money. The original report is that, similar to South Africa, the adjustments in Hungary, Israel, Sweden and Turkey will likely bring those areas in-line with the roughly $10 pricing seen in most other regions. It’s unlikely the adjustments will be as drastic as in South Africa, though, as the remaining regions were already much closer to the standard worldwide pricing.
The good news here is that these adjustments will basically move all of those regions into the same pricing structure as most of the world, even though we understand it is frustrating to have prices go up. But if you want to play Gears 4 online this fall, it’s the price you’re going to have to pay.
If we have any readers living in the above regions, we’d love to have your take on the price hike. Is this going to affect whether or not you can game online, or is the shift small enough not to make a difference? Do you feel Microsoft has given you enough warning before making the shift? Let us know in the comments below.