According to Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president, Phil Spencer, the Games with Gold program will become "more true" to what consumers want from it in its entirety. For those who are not familiar with Games with Gold, it is a program which offers two free games each month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
During a Q&A session following his SXSW Gaming Panel, Spencer was met with questions regarding the aforementioned service, which include one which dealt with how games distributed through the program are often months or even a few years old. With this notion in mind, one can draw a comparison to Sony's PlayStation Plus program, which delivers a larger amount of free titles monthly, of which many are relatively new releases. Spencer defends the types of games presented in Games with Gold on the grounds the players are able to keep and play downloaded games, even if their subscriptions run out.
Quoting Spencer, "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 [going to] go buy a game that's brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it."
He continues, "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. For us, in the long run, as an industry, giving away content like that is just ... I think there's some steps and some evolution of what Games with Gold or any of the other systems will go through to their full potential. You have things out there that are kind of bigger subscription services, where I get access to a lot of content. Games with Gold is kind of this step in the middle of, 'I get games, and how do I feel about those games."
Although Spencer himself is not specifically part of the team behind Games with Gold, it appears he and others are and will be taking a more active involvement in the program for, hopefully, the better. It should be noted however, that from what many speculate, the teams behind games on the Games with Gold program receive a nice deal on their end for allowing the use of their game in the program. If such speculation is correct, maybe it will serve as incentive for developers behind new games to offer their games up to be used in Games with Gold and we will see a shift towards the availability of newer titles for free. Regardless of the specifics and dependencies, expect some changes to Games with Gold in the near future. As far as news for Games with Gold coming to Xbox One is concerned, Spencer tweeted last month that such information will be coming "fairly soon."