As with other gaming services, Xbox Live Gold offers subscribers a free monthly games perk called Games with Gold. As you likely know, Xbox Live Gold (and by extension Games with Gold) is included with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership.
You are probably also aware that the Games with Gold program took a serious hit in October 2022 when the traditional four games that were offered each month—two Xbox 360 titles and two from the Xbox One era—was reduced to two, with Xbox 360 games no longer being offered.
Not only that, but many subscribers have expressed disappointment with the Games with Gold offerings over the course of the last several months. As reported by Gaming Bible, all this has led some to speculate that the Games with Gold program is possibly being sunset. The idea has gained traction on the Xbox subreddit, as seen in the conversation linked below.
User androidtic_mammal had this to say,
Yeah I agree, seems it is being sundowned. But it sucks for everyone who missed the GWG original/360 games, even if they repeated some of the classic games on the service, it would be better than what we have now.”
Some users think that the emergence of Game Pass has likely played a role in what’s perceived as a decline in the quality and caliber of Games with Gold titles—the idea being that publishers would much rather put their games on Game Pass than give them away with Games with Gold.
Several have pointed to PlayStation Plus as a stark contrast with its monthly free games. This month (July 2023) for example, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Alan Wake Remastered and Endling – Extinction is Forever are all up for grabs at no extra cost for PlayStation Plus members.
July 2023’s Games with Gold lineup includes Darkwood and When the Past was Around.