Xbox Live Family Plan Cancelled
Microsoft has cancelled the Xbox Live "Family Pack," a value-bundle for creating multiple Xbox Live Gold accounts.
The Family Pack, which granted customers four connected one-year Xbox Live Gold accounts for $99, seems to have been removed without any warning. According to Destructoid, customers set to renew their active family plans this morning recieved an error message and, upon calling customer service, were told the plan is "no longer being offered." Subscribers with active family plans seem to be safe until their subscription runs out.
A standard one-year Xbox Live Gold account technically retails for $59.99, though it isn't hard to find subscriptions for between $30-$40.
According to Xbox customer service, family subscriptions still exist, but no longer include the discount. A number of family-friendly services activated with the family pack, including automatically refilling Microsoft Point allowances, child activity reports, and setting a "parent account" to handle parental controls for "family subscriptions" will remain active.
Looking to the next generation of consoles, it's unclear how Sony and Microsoft will handle subscriptions for online services. Microsoft's Xbox Live has always been the more restrictive of the two, requiring a gold account for simple online play, while PS+ has incentivized subscriptions with free games. Regardless of their content approach, user accounts will likely play an even more important role, making the console-maker's policy for handling connected accounts more important than ever. Given this move, it looks like the next Xbox may more appeal to singles than couples or families.