Microsoft Kills Xbox Live Branding, Rebrands to Xbox Network

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Image: Microsoft

After 18 years, Microsoft has decided to change the name of its popular online gaming service, Xbox Live, to Xbox Network. The new branding has been confirmed by The Verge’s Tom Warren, who received a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson explaining why the company had decided to settle on a different name. Xbox Network will make it easier for users to differentiate between the core service and the service that’s associated with Xbox Live Gold memberships.

“‘Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” Microsoft explained. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”

“Hints at a name change originally appeared back in August, after Microsoft updated its Services Agreement,” Warren noted. “At the time, Microsoft said it wasn’t rebranding the service and had no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold. Instead, Microsoft went on to announce a price hike for Xbox Live Gold that the company was forced to quickly reverse.”

Originally launched on November 15, 2002, Microsoft’s Xbox Live service now comprises two tiers, Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold. The latter is a paid subscription service that enables online multiplayer gaming, as well as bonus perks such as two free games per month and discounts on select titles in the Microsoft Store. Microsoft is reportedly planning to drop the Xbox Live Gold subscription requirement for Fortnite and other free-to-play games on Xbox network later this year.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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