With Microsoft recently removing the rather ridiculous Xbox Live Gold paywall for apps such as Netflix, Youtube and Hulu, you might be hoping the next logical step would be to remove the paywall for another thing you don’t have to pay extra for on any other paltform: MMOs and free-to-play games.
Sadly, at least for now that is not the case. If you want to play upcoming MMOs such as Elder Scrolls Online on your Xbox One, it will still require a Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, told Joystiq that they hadn’t changed their policy regarding MMOs and free-to-play titles and that some games include, “Engineering constraints, policy constraints and partner constraints in each one of these scenarios.”
Whatever these mysterious and vague engineering, policy & partner constraints are, they do not seem to trouble Sony, as you don’t need a subscription to PlayStation Plus to enjoy any of the MMOs or free-to-play titles on any of their consoles. Arguably two of the richest games on the PlayStation 4 are Warframe & DC Universe Online, and you do not have to pay anything beyond the price of the console to enjoy those games.
Granted, the section of people who would pay for an MMO such as Elder Scrolls Online and not already have a subscription to Gold for general multi-player is probably fairly small. However, in my opinion that’s a pretty flawed argument for putting them behind a paywall. It could still greatly impact player population and general sales. If I ever stopped my PlayStation Plus subscription, it’s great to know there are still some ways to enjoy online play on my console. Microsoft isn’t offering that, and it’s a huge minus in my opinion.
What do you think, GameSided readers? Are you more or less likely to play MMOs or free-to-play titles that require a Gold subscription? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!