Xbox Game Pass core: RIP Gold Games, but is it the right direction?
It felt like a long wait, but Xbox has finally pulled out the Lenny and moved the Games With Gold Program to the greener pastures. Xbox announced they are rebranding their Xbox Live Gold program to Xbox Game Pass Core. Subscribers to Gold membership will move to Core subscription in September and enjoy all the benefits of Gold, plus a free selection of 20 games. The library of games will grow slowly over the years, with 2-3 new games added each year. This gives gamers more value without having to login every 2 weeks.
Microsoft is ending the Games With Gold service at the same moment, despite the fact that there are no changes. This means the end of an existing program, which has been in existence for over a decade. Xbox Live Gold subscribers have had the option to get free games every month as part of their membership for many years. It’s a sad day to say goodbye to this service, but you can keep all of your games.
It’s a shame to see this service end, but it hasn’t been long in coming. In 2021 we argued that Xbox had to kill Games With Gold. But in the past two-and-ahalf years, Xbox hasn’t done much convincing people that Games With Gold is a worthwhile program. Games With Gold was unable to keep up with PlayStation Plus, which had a much better selection of games. It was also overshadowed regularly by Xbox Game Pass’s additions.
It is clear that Xbox Live Gold should be turned into Xbox Game Pass Core, and the Xbox Game Pass Core will give players an ever-changing selection of games, particularly since PlayStation has recently discontinued the PlayStation Plus Collection. Sony had previously offered PS5 users with PS Plus access to the PS Plus Collection. However, Sony has removed this benefit for unknown reasons earlier in 2014. Xbox may not be able to compete with “Uncharted 4” in terms of popularity, but they are still a great value.
Xbox has gotten themselves in a branding mess by changing Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Core. This cheaper version still comes with online multiplayer. Xbox Game Pass Core does not have online multiplayer but it costs $1 more. It also includes a massive collection of over 100 games.
Microsoft’s decision to increase the price of its Ultimate subscription is not a surprise. It’s a way to get as many people as possible to pay more. The Ultimate subscription includes all Game Pass titles, online play, and some other benefits. But it will be interesting to find out if this strategy pays off. Others may value online play more than random Game Pass titles and choose to downgrade.
Xbox Game Pass Core might have some positives by finally killing off a monthly source of bad PR for the big green brand in Games With Gold, but the new name for Xbox Live Gold could lead to confusion among some people. Xbox Game Pass Core may have some benefits, such as removing a source of negative PR that Games With Gold was causing for Xbox. However, the name change to Xbox Live Gold could cause confusion among some users.
Games With Gold was a staple of the Xbox Exosystem despite its unfortunate demise and less-than-stellar legacy. Many people will be disappointed to see it go. It’s not that they were all winners but it is a service to be applauded for giving Sleeping Dogs Definitive edition away free.