Okay, I will admit that title may be a bit harsh. However, in my opinion, it’s fair. Over the past few years, minus a few exceptions, Xbox Games With Gold has been nothing more than a disappointment. So much so that it’s probably time to retire the program completely.
Zero disrespect intended to the developers behind the games for Xbox Games with Gold December, but I can see why these are the “free” games. Compared to the offerings coming from Xbox’s main competitor PlayStation over the last few years, these titles for most are not even worth redeeming. On their own, the following are not bad games:
- The Escapists 2 ($19.99 ERP): Available December 1 to 31
- Tropico 5 – Penultimate Edition ($24.99 ERP): Available December 16 to January 15
- Orcs Must Die! ($14.99 ERP): Available December 1 to 15
- Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet ($9.99 ERP): Available December 16 to 31
The issue comes when these are the games you offer to incentivize players to join Xbox Live Gold. It’s almost as if Microsoft is intentionally sabotaging this service for another. As if they have another program that’s a bit more expensive and a way better bang for your buck.
Yes, my sarcasm is not very subtle. However, most people can admit that since the creation of Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Games With gold is an afterthought. It’s the furthest thing from our minds, as Game Pass brings us so many games that we are actually excited to play. With a handful being 3rd party day and day releases along with all of Microsoft’s first-party titles. With that, there is no need for Games With Gold. Sure, there will be a minority of people who will scream to the rooftops on Twitter that Xbox is bad for shooting GWG with an MA40 assault rifle in a back alley, however, that noise is nothing more than fluff. It seems as if most gamers do not actually care for Games With Gold anymore, it’s been replaced.
A while back there were rumors that Xbox Live Gold could be discontinued. Microsoft intends to phase out its Xbox Live Gold subscription at some point, according to renowned insider Jeff Grubb via GrubbSnax show on Giant Bomb. Personally, I believe as well this is the future. As Xbox Game Pass & Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers grow, eliminating Gold will be a lot easier of a hit to take. The timetable is the key as no one outside of Microsoft truly knows where subscribers to Game Pass are at the moment. The last report given was approximately 20 million or so. Which is a fantastic number seeing as Xbox Live has approximately 100 Million or so monthly users.
Xbox Live Games With Gold at conception was an amazing deal. Those times are now passed us all. And as most things do, they either need to evolve or fade away. Luckily for Microsoft, they already have its evolution in place with Game Pass. It’s time to tear off the bandaid and let Games With Gold exit the stage left.
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