“Quacamelee!” has me thinking

Posted: 2014/07/07 in Indie Games

Microsoft’s done something interesting with July’s free “Games With Gold” offering. They held over “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” for a second month, and added “Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition”.

If you have an Xbox 360, and are considering these games, then suddenly an Xbox One just got about $30 cheaper for you. Guacamelee! STCE was free for Xbox One owners day-and-date with its release, meaning anyone considering this game for the 360 won’t have it yet (though there may be some PS3 owners who had the earlier iteration of it).

This is an interesting strategy because you get to keep these games as long as you maintain your Gold status. Even if your Gold status lapses, but you later renew it, then you regain access to all Xbox One games you got via Games With Gold. This is in stark contrast to PS+ on the PS4 where once you delete the game from your hard drive, and it disappears from the “Instant Game Collection”, then it’s gone for good. So Games With Gold is a more significant incentive to get the Xbox One early in its life, than PS+ is an incentive to get a PS4 early in its life. And that’s especially true if you’re considering any of these as games for the Xbox 360, as the Xbox One is getting predominantly higher profile games (Max, Halo: Spartan Assault, Guacamelee!), whereas the games offered on the PS4 via PS+ have yet to wow fans, if message board comments are anything to go by.

If I were planning to get both systems, this would make me want to get the Xbox One first due to getting better games, and getting to keep them potentially in perpetuity if I wanted to.

  1. AndyHat says:

    Just a correction on the PS+ side; you can in fact re-download the free games even after they’re no longer free. Not sure what happens if you actually let PS+ lapse, but as long as you’re current, the free games just show up as “Purchased” when you go back to their store pages, so you can re-download, even on a different PS3/4.

    • Thanks for that. Interesting. While a few people I’ve communicated with in the past have said the same as you did, the majority say they’re crazy and that you can’t redownload them in the future. Thanks for finally putting that side of the issue to rest. Now, if you let your PS+ subscription lapse, do you lose them? And if you subsequently renew your subscription, do you get them back? The latter is true for the Xbox One, you get the games back if you renew Gold in the future.

      Ultimately then my argument is true for each of the new systems: buy one (or both) of them now, and let the free games pile up. I’ll buy Halo: Master Chief Collection on launch day, but I have no plans to purchase other Xbox One games at this time, as the free games Microsoft is providing me is all I need in addition, since I work long hours. And I get those games as part of my Gold subscription, which I have maintained every year but one since 2002, even without free games, and that missing year was simply an error due to a credit card that had expired and which I failed to renew on time.

      • AndyHat says:

        I hadn’t ever looked it up before, but according to the FAQ at https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2034/~/playstation-plus-introduction , you do get access to your old free games after a lapse in PS+ (“You will not be able to access free games downloaded with Plus if you choose not to renew your membership. However, if you decide to re-activate your membership, you will once again be able to play all games downloaded from the Instant Game Collection.”). The main thing is just being sure you click the Download button once while the game is free (even if you don’t actually download it, which I often didn’t on the PS3 as 250GB only goes so far when they’re giving away full retail games).

        So, yeah, those free games piling up are a pretty good incentive to be an early adopter on both consoles (and to keep the older generations around, too, as long as those continue to pick up free games, too).

  2. Dream Poet says:

    I’d like to point out that if you are planning on getting and Xbox One anytime soon or even later on that if you are a gold member now you can go to xbox.com and “buy” the free games when they are being offered of course. Then when you get your console you will have a library of free games waiting for you. This has been confirmed by Major Nelson in one of his weekly podcasts.

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