Xbox Live to Become Xbox NetworkMarch 22, 2021
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It’s official–Xbox Live will now be known as Xbox network. This rebranding of the online gaming service has been confirmed by Microsoft, who had earlier dropped hints at the name change in beta test reveals.
While updates to the Microsoft Services Agreement indicate that Xbox Live has been changed to “Xbox online gaming service,” a handful of Xbox insiders have reported receiving an email from an official spokesperson that confirms the “Xbox network” rebrand.
The reason for the change? According to The Verge, the aforementioned authority reports that “the update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Microsoft has recently introduced some pretty welcome changes, including an acquisition that brought 20 popular Bethesda titles to Xbox Game Pass and an XPS boost to some of those games. This particular update, however, has sparked a less-than-favorable reaction among a portion of Xbox Live members.
Some have taken to Twitter and other online outlets to express their disdain for the rebrand. A few have said that “Xbox network” sounds like a PlayStation Network wannabe. Others have called the name change “uncool,” “stupid,” and–well–downright lifeless.
Ironically, one of the more positive responses mused that at least now the service would be named more appropriately, considering how frequently the network goes down. Largely, resistance to the change can be attributed to a sense of loss of an era that evokes nostalgia in long-time subscribers.
Ever since its original launch 18 years ago, Microsoft has referred to its online service as “Xbox Live.” Because of this, it only seems natural that Xbox veterans would be resistant to the rebrand.
In better news, Microsoft now plans to drop the subscription requirement for its free-to-play games in the coming months. This means that popular titles such as Fortnite, Rocket League, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and Call of Duty: Warzone will no longer require Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
At this time, the exact timeline for this to be implemented remains to be announced. For now, Xbox Live users will simply have to embrace the change to Xbox network.