Assassin’s Creed 2 will be the next title free starting July 16,2013 as part of Xbox’s “Games With Gold” program announced during Microsoft’s E3 2013 event. After some confusion with when the two highlighted games of Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed 2 were announced on stage, Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb clarified that these titles were never given a date.
With “Games for Gold“, Microsoft is trying to emulate what Sony’s PlayStation Plus. The only difference is Microsoft is letting Xbox Live Gold members keep these games, forever. Even if you don’t keep your Gold status after downloading said games, they’re yours to keep. To keep the games on PlayStation Plus, you have to continually pay for a subscription. Otherwise, you lose access to the games you downloaded which essentially is just like renting the rights to play the games.
On the other hand, Games With Gold is also starting off small. PlayStation Plus gives away a handful of games every month, and offers a large Instant Game Collection to subscribers. At the moment, the Games With Gold count is at two. Quite a difference.
I get the feeling that letting people keep the games for free with no catch could be why we’re seeing really old titles being offered by Microsoft, like Defense Grid: The Awakening. Let’s hope that before the program expires at the end of 2013, we will see some newer titles offered up. Or, at the very least, titles that we couldn’t pick up for $10 or less at a garage sale or Goodwill.
Source [Twitter - @majornelson]