I kind of had a feeling that this would eventually happen.
The more successful Xbox Live has gotten over the past year had also made me think that maintaining all of that fancy hardware was going to eventually get very expensive. What I didn’t like was how laissez faire Major Nelson was in announcing this change.
I think he’s done a great job as a community face that we can look up to for the latest Live news, but I wish he was allowed to say more than this on why the change is necessary before we simply pay up. But this part struck me as particularly funny as if it were a concession to the rest of the world:
This price increase only affects Xbox LIVE Members in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom or the United States.
Only? Considering that the countries named also happen to be within the largest regional markets for Live in the first place, that’s kind of like saying the common cold only affects people with a pulse. Having little other than the usual boilerplate that “Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry” to work with, I can understand the fury from the posts in his announcement thread.
If you need an idea of where the prices are headed, here’s the chart that’s expected to go into effect on November 1st of this year:
So how is this going to affect you? For regular subscribers, probably not too much other than the queasy feeling of not knowing just why its going to be more expensive. And with attacks on the used gaming market by EA and THQ, it’s going to be an expensive hobby for those of us that want to keep playing while watching our wallets at the same time.