Microsoft’s Games with Gold program will become “more true” to what users expect from it in the future, according to Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer.
The system offers Xbox 360 Gold members two free games every month on the 1st and 16th. Once downloaded these two games can be kept forever, even if you cancel your Xbox Live Gold membership.
In a Q&A session following his SXSW panel (via Polygon), Spencer responded to criticisms of the program regarding the age of titles offered compared to Sony’s PlayStation Plus program—which offers more free titles that are newer. According to Spencer, the reason for this is that titles offered with Games with Gold can be kept forever, while PlayStation Plus titles are only available while you have a subscription.
“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,” Spencer said.
“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.”
However, Spencer added that he is working with the Games with Gold team to improve the titles offered. “That said, I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team—some of the earlier months were already programmed—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.”
Civilization Revolution and Dungeon Defenders will be offered to Xbox Live Gold members for free this month.