Phil Spencer Addresses Games with Gold Concerns, Promises Future Changes
Written Monday, March 10, 2014 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer has addressed concerns with Xbox’s Games with Gold service, while promising a change of approach in the future.
Games with Gold, which offers two free games a month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, has come under fire for offering less compelling content than PS Plus, its equivalent on PlayStation. But for Spencer there are fundamental differences.
Speaking at SXSW, Spencer said, "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 going to go buy a game that's brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it."
Despite this Spencer says that Microsoft are reviewing the current Games with Gold set-up, in order to make it “more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like.”
"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 of, 'I get games, and how do I feel about those games.'"