Microsoft has made online gaming free to all for a list of multiplayer titles, including Fortnite and Call of Duty: War Zone. Xbox owners no longer need an Xbox Live subscription to play free titles online.
In January, Microsoft announced that it would increase the price of Xbox Live Gold. This prompted an immediate reaction from fans, which prompted Microsoft to back down. Reversing the decision, the company announced that it plans to make free online games available even without an Xbox Live subscription.
Now Microsoft has kept that promise by releasing a list of 50 games that can be played online for free starting today. In addition to Fortnite and War zone, the list includes popular games like Destiny 2, Warframe, and Roblox. Gamers can go to the Microsoft Store to check which games require Xbox Live and which don’t.
Microsoft says the list of supported games will grow as more free games are released on Microsoft platforms.
As part of the change, Microsoft will unlock its group finder functionality in an April system update according to an FAQ page. Gamers will still need Xbox Live to access paid game modes in free games. Free to Play weekends also remain exclusive to online subscribers.
The strategic pivot is in line with the way Microsoft’s competitors handle free-to-play games. Nintendo Switch owners can play games like Fortnite without a Nintendo Online subscription. The same goes for Sony, which doesn’t require PlayStation owners to have a PS Plus membership to play certain games online.