Games with Gold, a programme that grants Xbox Live subscribers two free games on the 1st and 16th of each month, is to become “more true” to player expectations. Speaking with Polygon, Microsoft’s corporate VP Phil Spencer outlined the ways in which the company plans to improve the service.
“I have been sitting down, monthly now, with [the Games Gone Gold team]… and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you’ll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there.”
Following complaints regarding the breadth of content offered, Spencer also addressed the frequent comparisons with Sony’s PlayStation Plus — a service he claims to be “fundamentally different” to Games with Gold. As a matter of fact, Microsoft’s service allows users to keep hold of their games indefinitely, whereas PS Plus requires you to be subscribed in order to access the software freebies.
This month, Games with Gold titles included Civilization Revolution and Dungeon Defenders, whereas PlayStation Plus opened up 2013’s Tomb Raider along with Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition for PS4. And while Microsoft’s digital incentive is currently limited to the Xbox 360 it’s understood that Xbox One games will be added to Games with Gold further down the line.
Though many Xbox Live subscribers will consider Spencer’s reassurance overdue, it’s worth keeping in mind PlayStation Plus’ humble launch back in 2010. With a skeleton catalogue of PSOne and PlayStation Minis on offer, not to mention the PSN outage a year later, it invariably took time for Sony’s subscription model to gain some stability and momentum.
In terms of Games with Gold, however, with Microsoft bringing the package to Xbox One in 2014 and Spencer’s commitment to improving the content offering for Xbox 360, one can only hope that the company’s programme will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with PS Plus sooner rather than later.