Speaking at SXSW, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said that Xbox’s Games with Gold program is “fundamentally different” than “other programs” because it allows members to keep the games regardless of whether they continue to pay for a subscription. Spencer is clearly referring to Sony’s competitive PlayStation Plus program, which gives users access to a collection of free games, but locks them out if their subscription expires.
Games with Gold, a program that offers two free games a month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, will become something “more true” to what consumers want from the program, according to Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer. Speaking during a Q&A session following his SXSW Gaming panel, Spencer responded to the feedback that the games distributed in the program are typically months or even years old — a stark contrast to Sony’s PlayStation Plus program, which delivers a larger quantity of free titles on a monthly basis, many of which are fairly new releases. The issue, according to Spencer, lies in the fact that the games distributed in the Games with Gold program will always be available to those who download them, even if their Gold subscription lapses.