Microsoft isn't ruling out making its monthly free Xbox Live Gold games offer a permanent fixture, the firm's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has declared on Reddit.
"Anything is possible," he observed, when asked whether the offer might extend beyond its closing date (31st December). "We'll see how the program goes." Hryb also responded briefly to disappointment over today's free Gold game, the somewhat less than mind-blowing Defense Grid: The Awakening. "I don't work in marketing, but I am going to make them aware of this thread."
We'd originally assumed that Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 would be July's free Gold games - they were the only two games mentioned when Microsoft announced the scheme at E3. In the firm's defence, however, precise dates were never confirmed. "Sorry about the disappointment," Nelson wrote. "Not sure how people started to assume that H3 and AC2 were coming in July. I thought it was pretty clear in the briefing, but I guess not that clear."
You can expect your free Xbox Live Gold games on the 1st and 16th of each month. According to an Xbox.com help page, there "will be a mixture of fan-favorite Xbox LIVE Arcade and Games on Demand digital titles".
It also notes that "game titles will generally not be disclosed in advance". Don't worry, we'll keep you posted via our free Xbox games hub.
Update - OXM writer Ben Borthwick points out that Microsoft did, in fact, originally specify Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 as July reductions via Xbox Support.