Ever since the beginning of 2021, Microsoft has received criticism for the roster of Xbox Free Games with Gold offered to its subscribers. Apart from not including an Xbox Series X/S game, Xbox Free Games with Gold is often criticized for its lackluster offerings, which some believe to be Microsofts tactic to push Xbox players to switch to the Xbox Game Pass instead.
Just several days ago, Microsoft announced the list of free games that Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to get for August. Although the roster still doesnt include an Xbox Series X/S game, it appears that Augusts list of free games is slightly better than those offered by the service in the last few months. While it remains to be seen whether this is just a one-time thing, it could also signify that Microsoft is taking criticisms to heart.
Augusts Xbox Free Games with Gold Garnered a Slightly Better Reception
In typical Xbox Games with Gold fashion, this months roster of free games consists of two Xbox One titles and two Xbox 360 games. For the entire month of August, players will have access to Darksiders 3 for the Xbox One, followed by Yooka-Laylee from August 16-15. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 games include Lost Planet 3 from August 1-15, followed by Garou: Mark of the Wolves from August 16-31. As previously mentioned, Augusts roster still doesnt include any Xbox Series X/S games, which could indicate that Microsoft has no intentions of adding titles from its latest consoles to Games with Gold, at least for the time being.
While Augusts roster of Free Games still lacks support for Xboxs latest consoles, it appears that subscribers are actually happy with this months list of free games. In the official announcement video Xbox posted on its YouTube channel, the likes for the video far outweigh dislikes. The comments on the video and Xboxs various social media pages also reflect the reception of Augusts Free Games with Gold, with many praising Microsoft for actually including well-known games from various genres.
Is This Indicative of Microsoft Changing Xbox Games with Gold for the Better?
Although the positive reception of Augusts Free Games with Gold could mean that Microsoft is finally listening to criticisms, it is still too early to tell whether the company is truly committed to selecting better games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. However, it is worth remembering that in February 2021, Microsoft was also praised for the roster of Xbox Games with Gold it released that month. Apart from big-name games such as Resident Evil Remaster HD, the company also included an Xbox Series X/S optimized version of Gears of War 5.
Unfortunately, the months that followed saw Microsoft revert to its old pattern of releasing niche games for Xbox Games with Gold and nothing for next-gen consoles. Many believe that the only reason the company stepped up its roster for February is to appease disgruntled fans after Microsoft attempted to increase the subscription price of Xbox Live Gold. At the moment, it remains to be seen whether the pattern established this month will be carried over throughout the year. However, it wouldnt be surprising if next months roster once again disappoints, especially since Microsoft isnt particularly hiding the fact that its priority is Xbox Game Pass and not Xbox Live.
In the end, while Microsoft is pouring its resources into Xbox Game Pass, that shouldnt mean the abandonment of Xbox Live Gold altogether. On the contrary, by offering older yet popular Games with Gold, the company has the opportunity to differentiate the value of Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Live Gold could be the venue for players to re-experience old classics for free, while Xbox Game Pass could be the service offering the biggest and newest Xbox games.
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Ramon Hara (1333 Articles Published)
Ramon is a writer for GameRant and an avid gamer since the era of the original PlayStation. Ramon has been captivated with video games and the way it serves as an escape from real life. His love for gaming transcends genres as he enjoys playing Stardew Valley as much as Resident Evil. When not attached to a controller, you can find him hammering away at a keyboard in hopes of sharing his voice with the gaming community. Ramon also likes to live his best life by watching funny videos on YouTube. You can follow him on Twitter @ramonhara.