The Xbox Live Gold price in the UK is increasing by 25%, with Microsoft pointing to “changing market conditions” which heavily imply that Brexit and its effect on the UK economy is to blame. The major price hike will see subscriptions increase from £39.99 to £49.99 in the region, while three-month subscriptions will also rise from £14.99 to £17.99.
While current subscribers will be able to retain their subscription fee for 90 days, and the pricing of Xbox Live Gold hasn’t been changed on the Microsoft Store, after this period the price increase is set to go into action. This means that Xbox One owners who enjoy the benefits of their Gold account will eventually pay 25% more for the same service.
The full message Xbox has sent out to Xbox Live Gold subscribers is as follows:
“As of May 08, the 12-month subscription fee for Xbox Live Gold is increasing from £39.99 to £49.99 to address changing market conditions. All current subscribers will keep their current subscription fee for 90 days. You will be charged the new price effective August 7, 2019 unless you choose to cancel your subscription before the next scheduled payment. For more information: https://support.xbox.com.”
Sony previously announced a similar price increase for the PS4’s PS Plus service back in 2017. The Xbox competitor raised its annual subscriptions from £39.99 to £49.99, its quarterly subscriptions from £14.99 to £19.99, and its monthly subscriptions from £5.99 to £6.99. However, with the Xbox One trailing behind the PS4 in terms of market share, its cheaper online service remained a selling point for many.
Though the message sent out to Xbox One owners doesn’t directly mention Brexit, it seems likely that this is the cause of the change. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s decision to leave the EU continues to take its toll on the economy, with many warning that it could have devastating ramifications on the region’s games industry. The pro-EU organization Games4EU published a 51-page report detailing the potential dangers of Brexit for gaming, including businesses facing “considerable uncertainty and bureaucracy,” resulting in them “driving up costs and impeding day-to-day business.”