The change has finally happened: Microsoft has changed the name of Xbox Live to just “Xbox network,” and is changing references to Live over. According to a statement provided to Eurogamer, Microsoft assures everyone that, “Xbox Live isn’t going away. We are making ongoing adjustments to create a simpler, more descriptive messaging system for Xbox in different areas. None of these experiences or features will change as part of these updates.”
The first indication that Microsoft would change the name came when Xbox Live was removed from the Microsoft Services Agreement. Rumors that Microsoft was going to be renaming Xbox Live surfaced over the weekend, and slowly users began to notice that references to “Xbox Live” in the Xbox UI were replaced with “Xbox network.” Captures would be uploaded to “the Xbox network.” This marks the first change to the Xbox service branding since Live was launched almost 20 years ago.
One wonders how this rebrand will help integrate Xbox’s many services more closely together. Xbox Live Gold, the paid subscription service you need in order to play games online on Xbox consoles, still bears the Xbox Live name at the time of this writing. Since it already comes packaged with Xbox Game Pass, it makes one wonder whether Microsoft eventually plans to drop Gold in favor of Game Pass being its only subscription service.
Microsoft has said that the dropping of Xbox Live is explicitly to distinguish it from Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft has flip-flopped somewhat on the Gold service — earlier this year it announced and then quickly rescinded plans to increase the cost of Gold. It’s also working on a change that will mean players won’t have to pay for Gold in order to play free-to-play games, with the change set to roll out sometime in the coming months.
Source: The Verge