Here’s an interesting development. According to a Reddit post, a digital copy of Hitman: Absolution is now free for the Xbox 360 whether you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription or not. The game was originally a Games with Gold title for April 1-15.
UPDATE (4/9/14, 5:37pm): It appears Microsoft was experiencing some kind of glitch. The free download once again requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed with the following: “We are aware of a glitch that caused the Games with Gold title “Hitman: Absolution” to appear free for all Xbox Live members. This has been resolved and Xbox.com is being updated to correctly reflect the Games with Gold promotion. We apologize for any confusion.”
It’s unknown at this time if the move is a mistake on Microsoft’s part or if the change is intentional. I’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update if I hear back.
Microsoft recently replaced former Xbox boss Marc Whitten with Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer, who has vowed to take a more games-first approach toward Xbox (and the Xbox One console, in particular). In a Twitter exchange yesterday, an Xbox fan brought up Games with Gold and the Xbox Live apps paywall, and Spencer responded by saying he’d get his changes “in place soon.”
Dropping the Xbox Live Gold requirement could have something to do with Hitman’s sudden free-for-everyone status, though I haven’t noticed a wider drop of the Xbox Live paywall. So, again, this could just be a mistake or a glitch of some kind.
My suggestion to you folks without Xbox Live Gold, though, is to download this game as quickly as possible in case the Gold requirement shows up again. It looks like you’ll need to have a valid credit card on file with Microsoft, but that’s probably the worst part about the deal.
See anything else unusual happening on the Xbox Live store this morning? Be sure to hit our tips address (tips at besttechie dot com) or leave a comment below.