Microsoft to Boost Xbox Live 'Gold' Subscription Rates

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Microsoft Xbox LiveMicrosoft Corp. (MSFT) will increase subscription rates for many of its Xbox Live online-gaming customers in North America and the U.K. as the world's largest software publisher looks to boost gaming revenue by spurring subscription renewals.

Starting Nov. 1, Microsoft will boost the monthly subscription fees for U.S. Xbox Live Gold members to $9.99 from $7.99, while annual fees will increase to $59.99 from $49.99, Microsoft' Live programming director Larry Hryb wrote on his 'Major Nelson' blog earlier today. Monthly subscription rates for Xbox Live Gold members in Canada, Mexico and the U.K. will also increase in November.

"We're confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox Live Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry," Hryb wrote on the blog.

Microsoft is looking to boost earnings from its entertainment and devices division, whose operating loss for the quarter ended June 30 widened 22% to $172 million partially because of higher royalties the company paid related to third-party content for Xbox Live, the company said last month. The division's sales increased 27% from a year earlier to $1.6 billion and accounted for about 10% of the company's revenue.

Among other services, Xbox Live Gold members have access to multiplayer gaming capabilities as well as video-streamed movie titles from Netflix (NFLX).

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