Back at E3 2013, Microsoft announced a new benefit to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers called Games with Gold. The program allowed subscribers on the Xbox 360 to download two hand-picked titles from the Xbox team each month, to download for free. Since it’s launch back in July, players have received great titles like Halo 3, Assassin’s Creed II, Crackdown and more. Microsoft announced at a later date that the service would arrive on Xbox One sometime this year but since then, no further news has been said.
However, most feedback from players seemed to be that the program was lacking compared to Playstation Plus, a service offered by Sony on the Playstation 3, Playstation Vita and Playstation 4 which allowed subscribers to receive multiple free games every month, similar to Games with Gold, except Playstation Plus is cheaper, offers more games and most importantly – games that were released more recently – titles such as Borderlands, Bioshock: Infinite and Don’t Starve on Playstation 4 are just some that users continue to subscribe for.
Phil Spencer, talking at a SXSW panel discussed why Games with Gold doesn’t offer newer and better titles like Sony continues to do with Playstation Plus.
“One of our issues with Games with Gold — not ‘issues,’ but differences between the other system we get compared to, is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe, and the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a — you’re gonna go buy a game that’s brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it.”
For those who are unaware, subscribers of Playstation Plus can only be able to access their free games if they continue to pay for their subscription each month while Xbox LIVE Gold members have access to the game forever, regardless of their current membership status.
While Phil commented claiming he isn’t apart of the team that chooses what games show up in the program each month, he said that hes been working closely with the team recently, having more input on what franchises show up there and which ones will appear in the future.
In closing, Phil hopes that future titles offered will show you what “Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there”.
What are your thoughts on the Games with Gold program? Are you upset or happy with the titles being offered each month?
Let us know on our forums.