Games With Gold will become “more true” to what gamers expect from the program, says Microsoft vice president Phil Spencer.
In a Q&A session at the SXSW Gaming panel, Spencer addressed questions surrounding Microsoft’s Games With Gold program, which distributes free games monthy, in comparison to Sony’s PlayStation Plus program, which distributes games also but with more current, up-to-date titles.
“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,” Spencer said. “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.”
But, even though Spencer isn’t in charge of the Games With Gold team, he states that he’s been working with the team on a more active basis following the program’s launch.
“That said, 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,” Spencer said.
“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 of, ‘I get games, and how do I feel about those games.’”
But, sadly, Spencer didn’t comment on when the program would be headed to Xbox One, however he did tweet last month that details would be coming fairly soon.