Updated 1/22: Microsoft has updated its post on Xbox Wire to say that is not changing Xbox Live Gold pricing. It's also not requiring an Xbox Live Gold Membership to play free-to-play games on Xbox.
"We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing." the blog now reads.
Original story follows below:
Microsoft is increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold in select markets so it can "continue to invest in the Xbox community."
As detailed on the Xbox Wire blog, the cost of a 1-month subscription will be increased by $1 to $10.99, the price of a 3-month subscription will be raised by $5 to $29.99, and the price of a 6-month plan will increase by $20 to $59.99.
There is a silver lining for those already subscribed to a 6-month or 12-month plan, however, as those users won't have to pay the new rates (yet).
Microsoft added that anybody who upgrades their Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will see their remaining Gold time convert directly to Ultimate. For instance, if someone has 11 months of Xbox Live Gold remaining and upgrades to Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months will convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no extra cost.
Justifying the price change, Microsoft highlighted that the cost of Xbox Live Gold hasn't changed for years or indeed over a decade in certain markets.
Of course, it could also be viewed as an attempt to drive more players towards Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes access to the Game Pass subscription service (including all first-party titles), xCloud game streaming, EA Play, and Xbox Live Gold for $14.99 per month.