A key Xbox executive has moved to outline the "fundamental" differences between Microsoft's Games with Gold service and Sony's PlayStation Plus offering.
Speaking during a Q&A session following his SXSW panel over the weekend, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer addressed criticism that Games with Gold titles tend to be much older than PlayStation Plus games.
"One of our issues with Games with Gold - not 'issues,' but differences between the other system we get compared to, is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe," he said, according to Polygon.
"And the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a - you're going to go buy a game that's brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it."
However, Spencer did say he has been working with the Games with Gold team in a bid to improve the service.
"I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team - some of the earlier months were already programmed - and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you'll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there.
"For us, in the long run, as an industry, giving away content like that is just ... I think there's some steps and some evolution of what Games with Gold or any of the other systems will go through to their full potential. You have things out there that are kind of bigger subscription services, where I get access to a lot of content. Games with Gold is kind of this step in the middle of, 'I get games, and how do I feel about those games.'"
Announced at E3 2013, Games with Gold gives XBLG subscribers two free games to keep each month, with a new title made available on the 1st and 16th of each month.
While it was originally announced as a limited time campaign, Microsoft said last October that Games with Gold would be an "ongoing benefit" with no end date planned.
In November, the platform holder also revealed plans to launch Games with Gold on Xbox One in 2014.