Paid Online Multiplayer on Consoles

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An archaic method of monetization that needs to stop.

After the original Xbox console was released in November 15, 2001, it introduced a subscription service called "Xbox Live Gold" a year later. This service is known for locking certain features such as online multiplayer, which Microsoft has been doing on every Xbox console since then.

In the seventh generation of consoles, the trend of console manufacturers began when Sony also started to lock online multiplayer behind PlayStation Plus on the PlayStation 4, a subscription fee similar to Xbox Live Gold, and so did Nintendo with Nintendo Switch Online being required to access online play on the Nintendo Switch, despite both of these companies having made it free in the past.

Because of this ongoing trend, free online multiplayer on consoles seemingly ended permanently, leaving only PC, handhelds, and even mobile gaming to have free online without the need of a subscription fee.

List of Consoles with Paid Online Multiplayer

Why This Practice Sucks

  1. Consoles originally had free online multiplayer starting in 2000, the year where the Sega Dreamcast was released, but ever since Microsoft entered the console wars a year later, they began charging players for online play starting with the original Xbox, and two generations later, both of their competitors, Sony and Nintendo, completely gave up free online to lock that feature behind subscription fees, which possibly means that free online multiplayer on consoles is gone forever.
  2. This practice is unfair to console players, because they have to pay for a subscription fee in order to play games online, while gamers who play PC, handheld, and even mobile games have access to online play completely free of charge, and all it does is give features that PC, handheld, and mobile gamers get out of the box.
  3. Since you've already paid $400 (or sometimes $300 or $500) for a console, $60 for a brand-new game, and $60 for a yearly subscription fee, you've spent $520 in total in order to play games with online multiplayer.
  4. Console manufacturers claim that they charge for online to improve their servers, and to provide more security, which is false considering that it's the third-party developers that run the servers, not the manufacturers (unless it's their own first-party games).
  5. The idea of locking a basic feature like online multiplayer is just an excuse to gain more money and sales from subscription fees.
  6. Due to the success of this practice, console manufacturers will make their online multiplayer paywalls permanent and will never, ever revert back to the free online days.
  7. Paying for online multiplayer is expensive, because you have to pay $60 in order to access, unless you buy a 1-month or 3-month plan, which are usually $5 and $10 respectively.
  8. This practice is absolutely redundant, because you already pay for your internet provider, and now you have pay some extra cash to play games online on a console.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. You at least get free games when paying for online multiplayer.
  2. Some of the subscription services are pretty cheap, like how Nintendo Switch Online's yearly fee is $20.
  3. You can at least save half of your money by spending a 1-month plan or 3-month plan, both of which are pretty cheap, to play games online.
  4. With the exception of Xbox consoles, you don't need a subscription fee to play free-to-play games online, and even Microsoft has plans to eventually drop the paywall for free-to-play games online, following the backlash of trying to raise the price of Xbox Live Gold to $120.
  5. The Ultimate tier of Xbox Game Pass is the best way to get online services on Xbox One and Series X/S, as not only do you have Xbox Live Gold but also xCloud and over 100+ games available for $15 a month.

Videos

Comments


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Lukaaa640

3 months ago
Score 4
Paying for Online sucks! What happened to the Sega Dreamcast, PS2, PS3, Wii and Wii U days of free online?
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DarkMatterMan4500

3 months ago
Score 0
They're called microtransactions for a reason. For all the wrong reasons.
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SuperStreetKombat

3 months ago
Score 0
To me, the term "microtransactions" refers to in-game currencies that you pay real-money for. This, on the other hand, is completely different; you pay a monthly or yearly fee just to play online multiplayer.
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YukariWayne

one month ago
Score 0
and that's why there were more hackers in PlayStation Network than in Xbox Live, no offense.
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S012891

3 months ago
Score -6
You should all blame Microsoft for this because they actually invented Paid online in consoles in the beginning of their console market which makes their competitors did the same thing.
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SuperStreetKombat

3 months ago
Score 1
Yup, this article mentions that.
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S012891

3 months ago
Score 0
About Why it Sucks #6. Besides Xbox One they were doing so well with selling consoles what’s the point of having to pay online for Nintendo and Sony.
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S012891

3 months ago
Score 0
Just so you know, Titanfall is the first online game I’ve played.
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SuperStreetKombat

3 months ago
Score 0
That's cool.
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S012891

3 months ago
Score 0
Maybe not the very first, but is the first online multiplayer game I’ve played on console.
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SuperStreetKombat

one month ago
Score 0
Who the hell just downvoted my comment and why?!
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

one month ago
Score 0
@SuperStreetKombat, i don't know, some toxic console fanboys/sockpuppets/trolls tries to downvote and bash people's opinions, such as the SpazJR61's comment.
avatar

Robertoiglesias271

3 months ago
Score 0

List of consoles charging for online:

Xbox

Xbox 360

Xbox One

Xbox Series X/S

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 5

Nintendo Switch


My solutions:

1. The Microsoft line up is primary example of this crap. But because Xbox's aren't worth buying outside of the Halo games (I'm mostly joking btw), we can eliminate 4 of the 7 consoles.

2. You don't need to have online multiplayer to have fun on the PS4 or PS5. Just fuck around with Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Call of Duty and you'll be satisfied, hopefully. 2 of 7 eliminated.

3. Either force Nintendo to make online free again or buy a Wii U to play some of these games.
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AgentLocke

3 months ago
Score 1
I think xbox planned this so sony and nintendo would copy
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

3 months ago
Score 2
Imagine this, if i have a Nintendo Switch, a PS4/PS5 and a Xbox 360/One/Series X|S, then i buy a 12-month individual Nintendo Online membership, a 12-month PS Plus subscription and 12-month Xbox Game Pass membership gift card on Amazon, it would cost 200$, meaning 1069R$ in my country just to play online! thankfully, due to regional discounts, it will only cost 453R$ in my country, meaning 84$ in US. Why everything need to be so expensive?!
avatar

DNIguy64

3 months ago
Score 1
Wait, even if sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft listen to many console gamers on removing the subscription multiplayer fee, they'd go bankrupt?!....look, I know how Disney's live action remakes are going bad but, somehow, I can't see them filling a bankruptcy file if they stop making those remakes!
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CarlosFernandez

3 months ago
Score 0
That part sounds really biased to me, they can still make money with the things they make
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SuperStreetKombat

3 months ago
Score 0
Okay, yeah, maybe I did make that pointer a bit biased, because obviously subscription fees aren't the only things keeping console manufacturers alive, because they can make billions of dollars off of their games alone without the need of subscription services.
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DNIguy64

3 months ago
Score 0
Well...maybe they just don't know that yet
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AgentLocke

2 months ago
Score 0
Really dont think its the only thing keeping microsoft alive they got a lot of money
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MacGamer

3 months ago
Score 0
This sucks, because it just gives you functionality that pc gamers get out of the box.
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HammerBro101

2 months ago
Score 0
It sucks to see that console online gaming has become paid, which is why I play online on PC.
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

2 months ago
Score 3
Still, finding those subscription gift cards is like finding gold on a mine.
PaidOnlineGiftCards.jpg
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SuperCraftKid

2 months ago
Score -2
Wait, if Sony, Microsoft and "Shit"tendo remove paid supscriptions from online play, could they actually go bankrupt? Also to stop them from making you pay for online play, gamers need to do a huge Black Lives Matter like protest at Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and yell out that they need to make online play free. And there needs to be a lot of violence too.
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SuperStreetKombat

24 days ago
Score 1

Sorry for the late response, and I meant to send it earlier, but didn't, for whatever reason.

Anyway, consoles are sold at a loss, right? So they need something to monetize in order to make up for the losses they had when selling their systems, those being video games and, of course, subscription fees. The latter seems to be much more profitable than the former, but they can't make much money from the services, despite the price tags, unless they lock something that will attract many consumers behind it like online multiplayer.

Microsoft has been doing this since they started making consoles, and they've been doing fincancially well because of it. Sony and Nintendo were doing fincancially well (well, maybe not Sony during the PS3 days), and they could keep online multiplayer free prior to the 8th generation of consoles. Ever since those two started charging for online, they started making more money than ever, and if any of these companies remove the online paywall, they'd be losing a SHIT TON of money, and there's a good chance that they'd file for bankruptcy.

So, the only way for them to actually give up paid online is if they were to create another subscription service that doesn't charge for online and that service could kill any multiplayer service like NSO, XBLG, or PS+, such as the case of Xbox Game Pass. I know that service won't kill Gold at all, but it would very much be a good way to end paid online, if it would.
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SuperStreetKombat

24 days ago
Score 1
And no, they don't need to do a BLM-esque protest just to remove the online paywalls. That's way too barbaric.
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CarlosFernandez

10 days ago
Score 0
You know i'm in
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

one month ago
Score 0
Well, some games like Dragon's Dogma and Pokémon Sword and Shield, doesn't require a subscription service.
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SuperStreetKombat

one month ago
Score 0
PokéMon Sword and Shield don't need a subscription service? I didn't know that.
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

one month ago
Score 0

@SuperStreetKombat, Pokémon Sword and Shield will only need a subscription service just for the online features. The offline features such as the link trade and the link battle doesn't need a subscription service, you can play the game fine, even with the DLCs and Pokémon Home. But in Dragon's Dogma, all the online features are totally free.

I don't know why i took so long just to reply this message.
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MysteriousEdits

one month ago
Score 0
It sounds like Microsoft is raising the price of Xbox Live Gold. The 6-month price is being raised to $59.99. That same price can get you a year of PS Plus and 3 years of Nintendo Switch Online.
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SuperStreetKombat

one month ago
Score 0
I remember when they got rid of the 12-month plan, which led us to thinking that Gold was gonna be retired at some point, thus making free online on consoles a thing again, but sadly, that's not the case, because the only reason the 12-month is gone is so that they charge extra money for Gold. 🙄
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

19 days ago
Score 0
So imagine if the 3-month Xbox Live Gold gift card costs $119.99, that would be the same prices of two 12-month PS Plus gift cards and six 12-month Nintendo Switch membership gift cards. It would be 2 years of PS Plus and 6 years of Nintendo Switch Online services.
That would be extra greed for money.
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SuperStreetKombat

12 days ago
Score 0
Well, at least they scrapped the idea of raising the price for Gold.
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Grammar guy

one month ago
Score 1
I heard that Microsoft was gonna jack up the price of Gold for $120 a year, but after some extreme backlash, not only did they not do that, but they also made free to play games available for online play without Gold.
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DoubleJumpMan

one month ago
Score 0
My friend told me that he was gonna check out the free trial for Switch Online when he bought a Nintendo Switch, he later then texted me saying that it will require his credit card... Why do we need to use our credit card for a free trial?
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DoubleJumpMan

one month ago
Score 0
I also have the 3-month Membership so I wouldn't know about that
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Dorothy Nightingale

one month ago
Score 0
Its probably there so children wouldn't be able to get it. Some premium services require credit card at the beginning to prevent exploiting it via Privacy (a website that gives you a throwaway credit card that links to your bank). According to a YouTuber, he used Privacy to get a free trial without him charging for it.
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DoubleJumpMan

one month ago
Score 0
Oh, I never noticed that, thanks for the answer.
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The Dunkman

3 days ago
Score 0
I think maybe Microsoft did this on purpose to make other competitors unintentionally greedy.

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