Xbox Live Gold won't be required for Windows 10 multiplayer

Windows 10

Microsoft is making a concerted push for greater cross-platform compatibility between the Xbox One console and Windows 10. A build of the upcoming OS that leaked last year revealed the presence of a new Xbox app, and Microsoft recently said on the Xbox Wire that the Xbox Live SDK for Windows 10 "will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store."

But the integration of Xbox Live into Windows 10 leads to one obvious question: Will PC gamers be required to sign up for Xbox Live Gold in order to access online features in games? Premium service subscriptions are all but mandatory for consoles, but it's not something PC gamers have ever had to put up with—not since the days of TEN, anyway, and we all know how that worked out.

Fortunately, Microsoft said that's not the plan. "Not charging," Larry Hryb, AKA Major Nelson, confirmed on Twitter. "Xbox Live Gold will not be required for online multiplayer gaming using our service on Windows 10 PCs and Phones."

Microsoft revealed earlier this week that the Xbox One game #IDARB will be released for Windows 10, possibly as a launch title (although that's purely speculation on our part), and will include cross-platform play.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.