Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 “Games with Gold” Promotion Indefinitely
Microsoft’s “Games with Gold” promotion for the Xbox 360 is now a permanent bonus. As reported by Engadget, Microsoft has decided to continue the program, which gives free games to Xbox Live Gold subscribers each month, indefinitely. From the company’s press release:
At E3 2013, we launched Games with Gold as a limited-time program to thank our Xbox Live Gold members. Within that short period of time, we’ve seen an overwhelming response, with more than 120 million hours played with Games with Gold titles. Today, as a part of the “Week of Xbox Live,” we’re excited to announce that we are making Games with Gold an ongoing benefit for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360.
Games with Gold was originally intended to be a short-term promotion that would end in December 2013. It would help Microsoft appease its paying Xbox Live customers during the “lame duck” period before the launch of the company’s next generation Xbox One console next month. The overwhelming popularity of the program — Microsoft cites a 97 percent approval rate from customers — is one good reason to extend it indefinitely.
Another, less public, reason is competition from Sony. The PlayStation maker launched a similar program in 2010 for its PS3 and PS Vita customers, giving paying members of the company’s PlayStation Plus program free games each month. Unlike Microsoft’s offer, which currently only covers games for the Xbox 360, Sony has promised to continue the promotion after the launch of the PS4 in November.
Games with Gold will continue to offer free games under the current model: two games per month, one available for download during the first half of the month and the other during the second. Gamers must log in to their accounts on the Xbox 360 or Xbox.com to download the free games during their limited period of availability. The game currently available during the second half of October is Halo 3.