Microsoft has defended its decision to increase the cost of its online gaming service Xbox Live Gold.
The firm justified the price hike with mention of exclusive games such as Gears of War and Halo, and the fact that certain DLC packs arrive on Xbox 360 before rival consoles.
It also attributed the monthly membership rise from 4.99 to 5.99 to infrastructure costs.
Craig Davison from Microsoft's Xbox Live marketing team told Gamasutra: There are costs associated with maintaining a service at such a level – such as infrastructure costs. And we're continuing to bring more and more content.
Now we get those Call of Duty map packs before anybody else does. We've got Gears and Halo as exclusives. We continue to get exclusives on the service as well. And we've gone from 400,000 members in our first year to 25m.
We want to continue to bring that content in. We also want to continue to innovate on all dimensions, whether it's social, entertainment, or gaming.”
In the US annual Xbox Live memberships rose by $10 to $59.99. However annual Xbox Live Gold subscribers in the UK won't be charged extra.
Users can also opt for Xbox Live Free membership instead, but this does not allow players to take part in online multiplayer gaming.