In recent weeks there were a lot of talks regarding Xbox’s online service. Microsoft shared their plans to overhaul its premium subscription experience and, apparently, change its name in the process. From now on Xbox Live will be called Xbox Network.

The news was announced by The Verge where a Microsoft representative commented on the change:

“Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated to the Microsoft Service Agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”

It’s important to let that sink in while we explain what it means. In other words, Microsoft is trying to further distinguish Xbox Live Gold from the rest of the online services which now will be called Xbox Network. That might mean that at long last certain free-to-play online games (Fortnite, Rocket League, Warzone, and many more) won’t need players to have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to be playable online.

In addition, we can expect that the value of Xbox Live Gold might increase significantly in the future just to keep its subscriber numbers intact. Just a few months back Microsoft tried to increase the price of Xbox Live Gold subscription but decided against it after fan backlash. However, most of these fans were thinking that the price hike will affect most free-to-play gaming fans, but now we know that it’s not the case.

So in conclusion – we have a new umbrella-like service Xbox Network that connects multiple free-to-play gamers, Xbox Live, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers and their games. Doesn’t sound that complicated, does it?