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Xbox Games with Gold dropping Xbox 360 games in October

Really, it’s a blessing

kane & lynch playstation neo
Kane & Lynch 2’s July 2017 selection represented the high-water mark for Xbox Live Games With Gold.
Image: IO Interactive/Square Enix
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Bad news. Or is it? Either way, come October, Xbox Live Games with Gold will no longer offer Xbox 360 titles. That’s according to a message Xbox Live Gold subscribers are now finding in their inboxes.

Technically this is a bummer, as your Xbox 360 still connects to Xbox Live, which means it is still is supported. So, we’re not sure if this also turns out the lights on Microsoft’s venerable, now-old-enough-to-drive console. We reached out to a Microsoft representative earlier on Wednesday with this and other questions but haven’t heard back.

In any event, it likely means Games with Gold will halve its offerings come October. Games with Gold began at E3 2013 by offering Fable 3, and then started offering two Xbox 360 games per month the following July. (They were Assassin’s Creed 2 and Defense Grid: The Awakening, for those practicing for their Jeopardy! auditions.) That increased to four titles — two Xbox 360, two Xbox One — in the summer of 2014.

In an email sent to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, Microsoft said that the Games with Gold Program has “reached the limit of our ability to bring Xbox 360 games to the catalogue.”

The snarkier among us might suggest that limit was breached a long while back. Games with Gold’s Xbox 360 offering from July 16 to 31 this year is Torchlight, which was a GwG selection in August 2019. June’s Xbox 360 titles were 2010’s Raskulls and Super Meat Boy.

The good news? According to the email going out to subscribers, any Xbox 360 games they have downloaded before October are theirs to keep, forever, regardless of whether they maintain a current Xbox Live Gold subscription. Access to Games with Gold titles has been conditional on an active Gold subscription since the program began nine years ago.

“Any Xbox 360 titles that you redeem via Games with Gold before that time are yours to keep on your Xbox account,” the email says. Yes! That means I no longer have to pay $10 every month just to keep playing Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (a July 2017 selection).

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