Microsoft is making a major change to the Games with Gold free games from October 2022, dropping the pair of Xbox 360 games that have been included in the monthly line up since it launched in July 2013. You will still, however, get two free Xbox One titles from that point onward.
From an email sent to subscribers – we’ve yet to receive this yet, so here’s Stardock VP Brad Sams’ tweet – Microsoft said this is due to reaching the “limit of [their] ability to bring Xbox 360 games to the catalogue.”
We’ve seen this limit in recent months, with repeated games starting to creep into the line up – just take July’s selection as an example, which repeats Torchlight – and the wider collection of four titles typically not comparing favourably to the titles offered by the rival PlayStation Plus Essential service. Sony previously dropped legacy PS3 and PS Vita titles from the service and now only promises two PS4 compatible titles (though has consistently overdelivered with a third game that is often cross-gen since the PS5 launched).
Microsoft’s statement reads:
From 1st October 2022, the monthly games provided to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Live Gold members via Games with Gold will no longer include Xbox 360 titles.
We have reached the limit of our ability to bring Xbox 360 games to the catalogue; however, Games with Gold will continue to include exciting Xbox One titles and exclusive savings each month.
This will not impact any Xbox 360 games that you downloaded before October 2022. Any Xbox 360 titles that you redeem via Games with Gold before that time are yours to keep on your Xbox account, regardless of whether you continue your subscription.
Thank you for being a loyal member.
Xbox 360 and Xbox One games have been offered under different terms to subscribers of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 games included with Games with Gold are free to keep, even after a subscription has lapsed, while Xbox One games are only playable while you are subscribed, but lapsed subscriptions will restore access to a library of games that you have built up.
If Microsoft is cutting off the Xbox 360 titles from Games with Gold, they could be using this opportunity to put those financial resources into securing bigger budget Xbox One games, or they could start to offer newer titles that are Xbox Series X|S enhanced, or even exclusive. Then again, they might simply keep is limited to a pair of Xbox One games and continue to focus their efforts on Xbox Game Pass – again, let’s look at what’s being added to Game Pass in July for a comparison.