Microsoft has confirmed to us that Xbox Live pricing is going up in six territories. The company says that it is making adjustments based on currency fluctuation.
The article was first reported on Game Informer which raises an email received by one if it's South African users. The territories affected are Turkey, Israel, Sweden, Hungary, Austria & South Africa. The changes are bringing the cost more in line with global subscription costs.
"We occasionally update pricing in a given market to provide a balance of service and value, and in some instances, meet currency fluctuations within the region, and will be adjusting the price of Xbox Live Gold subscription in a small number of markets on June 20, 2016," a Microsoft representative told us via email. "We do so always keeping in mind that our goal is to offer our members the premium gaming and entertainment service at a fair price."
The following is taken directly from Game Informer as we couldn't have explained it better ourselves.
The current price of Xbox Live in that territory, R50 per month is equivalent to about $3.25. Pricing in the U.S. is $9.99 per month. The new monthly fee, R159 works out to about $10.33. The new yearly pricing in South Africa will be R979, or about $63 (against United Stats pricing of $59.99 per year).
Current pricing is as follows for the remaining territories. We do not yet have adjusted pricing for these countries, though we suspect they will be adjusted to convert approximately to USD fees ($9.99 per month).
While each European Union country has a different value added tax (VAT), ranging from 17 percent to 24 percent, which is included in the price and not added on top like sales tax is in the United States. The price in countries using the Euro seems standardized at €6.99, including Finland which has the highest Euro VAT at 24 percent. Austria's current VAT is 20 percent.
For now at least, no price increases in UK & USA, phew!