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MMOs, free-to-play games will remain behind Xbox Live Gold paywall

Microsoft is dropping the Xbox Live Gold paywall for many of its entertainment apps, but free-to-play games and MMOs like The Elder Scrolls Online will still require a subscription, Microsoft head Phil Spencer recently told Joystiq.

The paywall longer impacts services such as Netflix, HBO Go, Skype, Twitch and Internet Explorer. Free-to-play games include Happy Wars and World of Tanks, while The Elder Scrolls Online already asks for a monthly subscription fee due to regular and "significant" updates, on top of the Xbox Live Gold requirement.

According to Spencer, Microsoft "hasn't changed its policy" on MMOs and free-to-play games. Spencer added that some games include "engineering constraints, policy constraints and partner constraints in each one of these scenarios."

"So today, the announcement is about the entertainment applications being available to all Xbox Live members," Spencer told Joystiq. "It was really about going as fast as we could on the things that we completely controlled."

Microsoft announced yesterday that it will sell a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One; the system will be available June 9 for $399. For more on the Kinect's jump from an integral component to an optional accessory, check out our StoryStream.

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