Microsoft is announcing a major change is coming to Xbox’s longstanding free Games with Gold program, starting October 1, 2022.
Xbox games with gold is a program that was launched in 2013 and provided Xbox Live Gold subscribers with two free Xbox 360 games per month. The program was later expanded to include Xbox One games as well, for a total of four free games per month for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. In the years since, however, that project has been eclipsed, especially since Xbox introduced Xbox Game Pass, and many now believe the Games with Gold program is slowly fading away.
To its credit, Games with Gold has met its goal of four free games per month for nearly eight consecutive years, although many gamers say the quality of games provided by Games with Gold has declined since the early years of the program.
Microsoft has now announced that it will no longer provide Xbox 360 games as part of Xbox Games with Gold, starting October 1, 2022. This means that the free Xbox 360 games for the month of September will be the last in the program. . Games with Gold will still continue with Xbox One games for the foreseeable future, but the program’s release will be reduced to two games per month.
This will be disappointing for many Games with Gold users who have redeemed their free Xbox 360 games, but also for those who suspect this is the beginning of the end for the Games with Gold program. Xbox has increasingly pushed Xbox Game Pass as its flagship program over the past five years, and in that time Games with Gold has become increasingly hidden behind submenus on the Xbox home screen. Xbox Live Gold is already included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, so it’s likely that the Game Pass program will one day completely take over from Xbox Live.
However, this may not be bad news for Games with Gold users, as many gamers have felt that the quality of Games with Gold games has stagnated over the years. By removing Xbox 360 titles, Xbox has less quota to fill, and therefore more time to focus on securing higher quality Xbox One games for the Games with Gold months that continue. Xbox will also likely want to send Xbox 360 games gold with a bang, meaning the months leading up to October could see some classic Xbox 360 titles secured for the program.
Games with gold are widely considered to have lost quality since its early years when Xbox 360 classics like assassin’s creed 2 and dark souls have been given. But even in recent years, the Games with Gold program still delivered surprisingly strong months where every game was great.
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Source: Pure Xbox