Microsoft has announced the Xbox Games with Gold lineup for July 2021, and it’s worth noting that Conker: Live & Reloaded, an original Xbox title, is the most remarkable of the bunch. Microsoft is increasingly focused on Xbox Game Pass, with xCloud now accessible for streaming on Apple devices and PCs, while Xbox Live Gold is generally seen as nothing more than an afterthought by users.
Meanwhile, Sony has lately surpassed expectations with its PlayStation Plus free game offers, which now include a mix of classic PS4 games and new PS5 titles. Star Wars Squadrons, the PS5 edition of Operation Tango, and the PS4-exclusive Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown were among the PS+ games available in June 2021. In comparison, the Xbox 360 port of Injustice: Gods Among Us was the most high-profile title in June’s Xbox Games with Gold roster.
In a video posted to the official Xbox YouTube channel, Microsoft revealed the latest batch of Xbox Games with Gold. Planet Alpha will be available to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from July 1-31, Conker: Live & Reloaded will be available from July 1-15, Midway Arcade Origins will be available from July 16-31, and Rock of Ages 3: Make a Break will be available from July 16-August 15.
Planet Alpha is a critically regarded puzzle platformer in which the player is tasked with surviving on an extraterrestrial planet. As they continue their adventure through the harsh and unfamiliar terrain, the player must use their power to transition between day and night.
Conker: Live & Reloaded was an Xbox-only version of Conker’s Bad Fur Day that included a new online multiplayer feature. Gauntlet, Joust, Sinistar, Smash TV, and Spy Hunter are among the nearly thirty arcade classics included in Midway Arcade Origins. The player must demolish opposing defenses with boulders in Rock of Ages 3: Make a Break, a tower defense/arcade action game.
Microsoft’s E3 2021 presentation was jam-packed with Game Pass announcements to the point that the service will be flooded with titles over the following two years. Game Pass is clearly Microsoft’s future, and Xbox Live Gold is getting less attention, especially when compared to PS+.
It wouldn’t surprise us if Microsoft chose to merge Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass in the future in order to consolidate its services into a single subscription. The poor Xbox Live Gold offers might indicate that this change is already underway.