Update: A Microsoft spokesperson shared with us the following statement:
"Beginning on October 1, 2022, we will no longer release Xbox 360 titles on a monthly basis as part of the Games with Gold benefit. We'll focus on continuing to deliver Xbox One titles through the Games with Gold program. No other Xbox Live Gold benefits will be impacted by this change."
Original: A critical change concerning Xbox Live Gold and its free monthly games is supposedly happening later this year with news now circulating that Xbox will be dropping Xbox 360 games from its monthly releases starting in October. In emails shared online which were said to have been sent out to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, Microsoft said it had "reached the limit" of the ability to add Xbox 360 games to the catalog. Xbox 360 games already downloaded through Xbox Games with Gold up until October 2022 will still remain in players' libraries without issue, however.
Twitter user Wario64 who frequently shares gaming news and deals first posted a screenshot of an email which talked about the Xbox Games with Gold announcement. Though not in English, the email said (based on Wario64's tweet) that Xbox 360 games would no longer be included in the monthly drops starting on October.
Other posts about the topic came shortly afterwards with ones like the image below showing English versions of the same email.
"Beginning October 1, 2022, the monthly games provided to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Live Gold members via Games with Gold will no longer include Xbox 360 titles," the email said. "We have reached the limit of our ability to bring Xbox 360 games to the catalog; however, Games with Gold will continue to include exciting Xbox One titles and exclusive savings each month.
Lolling at “we literally ran out of 360 games to give away” pic.twitter.com/tgOCMCuxd9— uzi (@uzionmain) July 5, 2022
While the end result of Xbox 360 games no longer being included via Games with Gold is clear from these messages, some parts are a bit less certain. It's unclear, for example, what Microsoft is referring to when it says it's "reached the limit" of Xbox 360 games that can be added. Given that each monthly drop consists of two Xbox 360 games and two Xbox One games, it's similarly unclear how Microsoft plans to handle those two vacant Games with Gold spots, though it could just end up meaning two more Xbox One games every month. We've reached out to receive clarification on the topic.
Xbox Games with Gold announcements typically arrive to mixed receptions. The occasional chance to relive an old favorite is sometimes appreciated by subscribers, but the monthly games are often criticized by the more vocal responders. Free games are still free games, however, and for the time being, you can still expect Xbox 360 games to drop two at a time each month until October.