Xbox Live was launched for the very first Xbox back in 2002. Even though companies like Nintendo and Sega previously had tried simpler unified online services, it really was the mother of what we have today and made several things standard like voice chat, matchmaking and friends lists.
But now it seems like Microsoft might be about to retire the Live brand. It was recently confirmed that free-to-play titles soon won't require Xbox Live Gold anymore, and the push for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate already includes Live. Now several members of the Xbox insider program (like Tom Warren from The Verge and Adam Fairclough) tweets that all mentioning of Xbox Live has been removed from the dashboard in a recent update, and instead it is referred to as Xbox Network.
If Live really is to be rebranded, it remains to see what this means for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. People have been dreaming of free multiplayer for quite some time on consoles, but it could of course just be a change of name with the subscription just being for Xbox Network instead of Xbox Live.
Hopefully Microsoft will clear this up as soon as possible.
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