Microsoft’s Xbox team is aware that many gamers aren’t fans of its forcing Xbox One and 360 owners to pay $59.99 annually for Xbox Live Gold access in order to play games online and access apps like Netflix. It’s aware that rivals Sony and Nintendo don’t charge their customers an additional fee to access many of the same apps. And since many of these apps (Netflix, HBO Go, etc.) already charge users a subscription fee, that means Microsoft is the only console creator making its customers pay a second time to enjoy such apps.
That might be changing at some point. Maybe. Possibly.
Phil Spencer, who in March was promoted to lead the Xbox team, recently had an exchange with a Twitter user over the Xbox’s app paywall, reports Forbes. His words may be of interest to Xbox Live Gold’s detractors.
User @Th3CoreGamer wanted to know that since Spencer is now running the show if gamer ire over this issue should now be directed at him, tweeting, “now that you’re boss, we can start blaming you for Gold 2 play and apps behind the xbox live gold paywall right? sorry phil.”
In response, Spencer confirmed that he has indeed become the man with the bullseye on his back. However, the former Microsoft Studios boss also said that changes are on the way.
“Yep, blame away,” he tweeted. “I’ll get my changes to plans in place soon, but in the meantime pile on.”
It’s hardly a confirmation that Xbox’s paywall will be torn down or even pared back. Spencer’s impending “changes” don’t necessarily include freeing the Xbox’s apps.
He did, however, offer further hope to those who want to enjoy Xbox’s many multimedia features without paying Microsoft for an XBLG subscription. Answering a followup question, Spencer confirmed that he wasn’t flippantly saying what he thought people wanted to hear; he wasn’t just putting on a show.
“In today’s world [the] show would last about 10 minutes,” he replied to the implication that his tweet was just for show. “Not saying everyone will love everything, but we have plans.”