Remember that announcement during the Microsoft E3 press conference about Games With Gold? The Xbox Live Gold members were finally going to receive free games just like their PS Plus cousins starting with Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II… or so we thought.
In yet another misfire of communication, Larry Hryb AKA “Major Nelson” gave a “heads up” on his blog two days before the promotion began to announce that the first Games With Gold title would be none other than… Defense Grid: The Awakening.
This is another classic case of Microsoft not getting the message out clearly to their fans as word of this news was widespread among many media outlets. I remember the words used specifically when talking about this program during E3 were “to kick off this program” followed by the reveal of Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II.
While it’s expected that these popular titles will eventually appear in Games With Gold, it’s still puzzling to me that they would start the program with a tower defense game like Defense Grid: The Awakening. This is no knock on the game itself but it’s hardly one I’d use to get people initially excited.
Meanwhile, PlayStation Plus still rolls out a myriad of quality titles for free each month. As of this post, you can download games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and the indie developed Machinarium which I highly recommend to any point and click puzzle adventure fans.
Microsoft is certainly on the right track with this program but as always, they just keep on stumbling over their own feet. Expect to see some job openings in the PR and marketing departments soon.