Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha today we fly with some new features. Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership when we fly and test these service changes before general availability
̵1; Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) March 24, 2021
This means that when the update reaches all Xbox users, players will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to chat with their friends, look for a multiplayer group, or play free-to-play multiplayer games on Xbox.
It is not clear exactly how many games will be compatible with this change, but there are many high-profile free-to-play titles on Xbox such as Apex Legends and Destiny 2 that will benefit from this.
The news comes when Xbox has renamed Xbox Live to Xbox Network to “separate the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold membership.” In other Microsoft news, the company is reportedly in talks to buy Discord for more than 10 billion dollars.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.