Free-to-play multiplayer games are now actually free to play on Xbox, as the platform has accelerated its plans to remove the Xbox Live Gold requirement.
Typically, any kind of online multiplayer on Xbox required a paid Xbox Live Gold membership, even if the game was free-to-play. Fortnite Battle Royale, for example, couldn't be played without a Gold membership.
Wednesday's change eliminates that barrier far ahead of Microsoft's planned schedule. The platform holder had previously planned to slowly roll the change out to Xbox Insiders in groups before, eventually, enacting it for all players. Microsoft said player feedback influenced its decision to accelerate the rollout.
The April 2021 system update will also unlock Looking for Group for players without Gold subscriptions, and party chat has already been made available for those without a subscription.