There was more than just Xbox One news to share at Microsoft’s E3 Conference. One of the features to entice consumers to go with Xbox was an incentive program to purchase and maintain an Xbox Live Gold account by giving away 2 free games a month for Xbox 360 users through to the release of the Xbox One. Two of the games announced to energize the crowd were Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3, both highly-rated games worth the price of Gold’s admission. The first game released was Fable III, but the follow up is not nearly as enticing.
Microsoft’s Director of Programming for Xbox Live Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb confirmed on his personal website that the first free game for July is a tower defense game called “Defense Grid: The Awakening.” Released on December 8, 2008 for the PC, it came to Xbox Live in September of 2009 and will be a free download for any Xbox Live Gold user until the next game releases half way through the month.
This launch is confusing for a good number of consumers who were excited to be getting quality AAA games like Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3 in July, but now settling for a 4 year-old, 800 Microsoft Points-priced tower defense game you can get on Steam and on PC and Mac OS. That’s why Major Nelson took to Twitter to defend the seemingly bait-and-switch notion that fans have been suggesting.
FAQ: “Halo 3” and “Assassin’s Creed II” were mentioned as part of the program – no date was given for their release http://t.co/vjnE1sBAYj
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) June 30, 2013
Funny enough, on the Official Xbox Magazine’s blog, they have announced that “next month’s offerings are Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3″ for the Xbox Live giveaway for Gold members in a post dated on June 25. While the ordering of which would launch on July 1 and July 16 is technically not announcing a specific date, they have announced a July release for these games. Either the Official Xbox Magazine was misinformed in the release of these games and Major Nelson is correct, or the Xbox Magazine is correct in the planned release of these titles but the release date has since been pushed back.
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has not been straightforward in its messaging. They had a hard time explaining themselves when it came to their used games and DRM policies at their announcement conference back in May, then they released their intentions on their website a half week before E3, then they reversed them a week after E3.
You can view a trailer for Defense Grid: The Awakening below. It’s free to download for Xbox Live Gold account owners until July 15.