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Games with Gold to feel “more true” to users

by William Schwartz

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Games with Gold, the service for Gold subscribers that entitles them to download two free games per month, will become something that is “more true” to what consumers want, according to Phil Spencer in a Q&A session following his SXSW Gaming Panel.

According to Spencer, one of the biggest differences between Games with Gold and “other competitors” is that games downloaded with Games with Gold stay with the account indefinitely, even if the user has unsubscribed. That, according to Spencer, creates an “issue” of sorts. “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 gonna go buy a game that’s brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it.”

I think you’ll see something more true to what Games with Gold should look like.

According to Spencer, while he isn’t in charge of Games with Gold, he has sat down with the team in regards to picking new games for Games with Gold. “…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…”

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