Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the titles included in August’s Games With Gold lineup. There’s a stellar list of games including Dead Space 3, Forza Horizon 2, and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. One game, in particular, is rubbing me the wrong way; Ubisoft’s fantastic action game, For Honor. Look, For Honor is one of the best games to launch in 2017. It took me by surprise, and I’m glad to see that Xbox Live Gold members will be able to add it to their library. My issue isn’t about the game’s inclusion in the program, but with the “Ultimate Game Sale” currently taking place.
I’ve bought a few games during the sale. While I buy a lot of video games on launch date (the Enthusiast crew call me “Full Price” Andrew), there are a lot I pick up on sale. A few days ago, I contemplated purchasing For Honor, a game I sold during a good trade-in deal at Gamestop. The 80% discount was excellent, and $25 for the gold edition felt like a justifiable purchase. Luckily, I held back and bought different games I never played instead.
When Microsoft revealed that For Honor would be included in Games With Gold next month, people I follow on Twitter were excited. Myself, on the other hand, felt annoyed. If I thought about buying For Honor on sale, surely, others felt the same. In fact, there must have been people who bought the game at 80% off. Granted, this is just speculation, and some silver members could’ve taken advantage of the 70% discount offered as well. My issue is that it’s unfortunate to buy a game only for it to be free shortly after.
Securing games to come to the Games With Gold program are not overnight endeavors. There is probably a lot of planning involved, but I’m confident that finalization of the details are done a while before the announcement is made. If this is the case, why would Microsoft put For Honor on sale less than two weeks before it’s free for all Gold Members? It seems like a crummy move and one that almost affected me.
I can’t help but feel terrible for the people who spent hard-earned money on a game they want to play. If I knew that For Honor would be included in the Games With Gold program, I wouldn’t even have considered buying it. Instead, I would have immediately looked at other games instead of hovering over For Honor over the past few days.
While Microsoft is running a business and trying to make money, I find it deceptive to put the game on sale knowing full well that it will be offered for free. My article may seem like a petty complaint, but I genuinely think that this is a problem that should be addressed. Having For Honor included as part of the Games With Gold program is a win for Xbox One owners, Microsoft, and Ubisoft. Unfortunately, the handling of the Ultimate Games Sale, and the untimely announcement that the game in Games With Gold sets an ugly precedent that will probably happen again. I’m not saying that games shouldn’t be on sale, I just think that Microsoft and the companies whose games are offered in the program should handle situations like this better, and have the gamer’s best interest in mind.