Microsoft is announcing that, beginning in July, its Games for Gold program will expand from one free game on Xbox One each month to two, in addition to the two free Xbox 360 games currently being offered to Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
Unlike the Xbox 360 offer — which sees both games divide the month, with one available in the front half and the second available in the back half of the month — July's offering of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will be available throughout the month of July while the second game, So Many Me, will be available for a full month starting mid-July. On Xbox 360, Plants vs. Zombies will be free for the first half of the month before making way for Gears of War 3 in the second half.
If this all seems a little confusing, well ... it is. In addition, Xbox Live Gold members permanently keep the Xbox 360 games, while the Xbox One games are only usable while the Gold membership remains active (similar to PlayStation's PS Plus program). So if you snagged Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag on Xbox 360 during April's Games with Gold promotion, you keep it. If you snag it on Xbox One in July, you keep it ... so long as you keep your Gold membership active. Add in the upcoming backwards compatibility and, depending on how many games make the list, you now have some permanently free games that work on your Xbox One and others whose ownership remains asterisked.
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag on Xbox One, free July 1 - July 31
- So Many Me on Xbox One, free July 16 - August 15
- Plants vs. Zombies on Xbox 360, free July 1 - July 15
- Gears of War 3 on Xbox 360, free July 16 - July 31