Microsoft To Cancel Inactive Xbox Game Pass Subscriptions In The UK Following Investigation

Microsoft will soon change its Xbox subscription services in the UK following a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into auto-renewal practices among gaming platforms. The CMA has now stated that Microsoft plans to change its Xbox gaming subscriptions in the region in response to the UK regulator’s prompts. From this point forward, Microsoft will contact inactive subscribers to gaming services like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, serving as a reminder of ongoing payments, with steps to cancel. Microsoft will automatically cancel those subscriptions if users remain inactive. Pro-rated refunds will also be available for those who purchase bulk subscriptions moving forward.

“Gamers need to be given clear and timely information to make informed choices when signing up for auto-renewing memberships and subscriptions,” said Michael Grenfell, Executive Director of Enforcement at CMA. “We are therefore pleased that Microsoft has given the CMA these formal undertakings to improve the fairness of their practices and protect consumers, and will be offering refunds to certain customers. Other companies offering memberships and subscriptions that auto-renew should take note, and review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.”

Microsoft will also make Xbox subscriptions transparent, according to the CMA with information on auto-renewals and pricing communicated to members. Communications with subscribers will include steps to cancel Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, and refunds on accidental renewals. The CMA also states Microsoft will issue annual reminders for those on 12-month plans. However, Microsoft has ended 12-month plans for all Xbox subscriptions at this time, limiting bulk memberships to pre-paid codes from third-party retailers.

Xbox Game Pass remains fundamental to the future of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming vision, recently surpassing 25 million subscribers. The company continues to invest in expanding its rotating video game library, with its latest $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard expected to bolster Game Pass offerings.

(All information was provided by Windows Central)

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