Downloaded content can only be accessed with an valid membership
Microsoft has hidden away in the fine print of its latest announcement concerning Games with Gold on Xbox One a new clause that requires users to have an active subscription at all times if they want to access the titles they've downloaded.Microsoft surprised a lot of gamers worldwide yesterday when it confirmed that it was dropping the price of the Xbox One by removing the Kinect, lowering it to 399 USD/EUR.
It also revealed that the Games with Gold program was finally expanding onto the Xbox One console, bringing great free games each month for active Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
However, unlike on the Xbox 360, where a Gold subscription is only required to download the games and they can be played even when the membership expires, on the Xbox One things are different.
According to Microsoft's fine print on the Xbox Wire, "On Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded."
As such, Xbox One owners need to have an active Gold subscription to download the Games with Gold, and keep that membership if they want to play them. If their subscription lapses, they need to renew it in order to access the free titles they've downloaded.