For individuals, a one-year subscription to Microsoft’s Xbox Live service costs $50. That service allows Xbox 360 owners to play their games with friends, family, and other people on games that support online multiplayer. In 2010 the company released a family pack which gave gaming families the chance to secure 4 year long memberships for just $99, a savings of $101. Unfortunately, that membership option is no longer available.
Joystiq reports that they received multiple tips saying that the family pack had been taken down and they contacted Microsoft directly about this latest development. The company gave this statement:
“The Family Gold offer is no longer available for purchase,” a Microsoft representative told us. “The Family Center experience with settings management, allowance granting, child activity reports and family subscriptions management are still available for current Family Gold members at this time.” [Source: Joystiq]
This comes as no surprise as Microsoft’s recent quarterly reports state that the Xbox division is showing signs of decreasing profits. This is expected to change with the release of the next Xbox console but further discounts for the Xbox Live service have not been mentioned.
Currently, the most affordable option is to purchase a 12-month subscription card from retailers such as Newegg which often offer the card for as little as $35 ($15 cheaper than normal). Gamers that opt for the monthly fee rather than paying yearly are charged $9.99 per month, making the service cost as much as $120 per year.