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Assassin's Creed 2 available free to Xbox Live Gold members July 16-31

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Assassin's Creed 2 is the next "Games with Gold" title, and will be available free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers July 16-31, Microsoft announced today.

Ubisoft's Renaissance-era open-world action title was originally released in November 2009 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and in March 2010 on Windows PC. It will follow Hidden Path Entertainment's Defense Grid: The Awakening, which is currently a free download on Xbox Live as July's first Games with Gold title.

Assassin's Creed 2 is one of two games — the other being Halo 3 — that Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi mentioned during the company's E3 2013 press briefing as being part of the Games with Gold program.

Under the Games with Gold promotion, Microsoft's answer to Sony's PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection, Xbox Live Gold members will be able to download two free games per month through the end of 2013; each title will be available for half of the month. Microsoft kicked off the program with Fable 3, which was free on Xbox Live from June 10-30.