After 19 years of Xbox’s online multiplayer service having the name Xbox Live, that title is now no more. The service will now have the name Xbox Network, in order to distinguish itself from Xbox Live Gold. This comes from The Verge, as confirmed by Xbox.
As far back as August rebranding rumours begun. The name was dropped from an updated Service Agreement form. At the time, Xbox denied the whispers of a pending rebranding. Now, instances of this new name, Xbox Network, have begun appearing for beta testers of the Xbox dashboard. The company has now taken the opportunity to make the announcement official.
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 21, 2021
What this means for Xbox online users going forward? Frankly not that much other than avoiding confusion. The underlying Xbox online service is called Xbox Network. The subscription service that also grants you free games will remain called Xbox Live Gold. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships,” a Microsoft representative told The Verge.
Still, the move is interesting in the way it’s distancing itself from the Xbox Live Gold brand. Earlier this year, Xbox made the decision to up their prices for the subscription, only to quickly revert it after flack. This begs the question: Just what has Xbox got planned for their Live Gold service in the future? Are they planning on ditching it entirely or merging it with the wildly successful Game Pass?
While that future is uncertain one things for sure: Xbox Live is now officially called Xbox Network, love it or not.