Microsoft starts testing complementary multiplayer for free-to-play games

As promised earlier in the year, Microsoft has started testing functionality that will allow Xbox users play multiplayer in free-to-play games without requiring an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Unfortunately, this testing is limited to Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha rings today, so it’s still in pretty early testing and might not be available on a wide scale for a hile yet. Still, it’s exciting to see this go into testing not only because it unlocks multiplayer in free-to-play games, but also because it unlocks Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat – features that were similarly put behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall.

Microsoft’s decision to remove the payment requirement for freemium multiplayer games came when it reversed course on a planned Xbox Live Gold price hike in late January. Once the policy change is put in place for everyone sometime later this year, it will put Microsoft in line with both Sony and Nintendo, neither of which require you to subscribe to their premium multiplayer services if you want to play free-to-play games online.
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