Google Launches New $4.99 'Play Pass' Service on Android Devices to Compete with Apple Arcade

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Apr 12, 2001
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Google today announced the launch of a new gaming service called Google Play Pass, which gives Android users access to more than 350 games and apps for $4.99 per month, similar to Apple Arcade.

Google's version, like Apple Arcade, provides games to customers without in-app purchases and without ads. There is a family sharing option, and a Play Pass subscription can be shared with up to five family members.


Google's service is not limited to just games, and it includes titles that are already released, such as Stardew Valley, Terraria, Monument Valley, Knights of the Old Republic, Facetune, and AccuWeather. Google's offerings are also not exclusive, which is one of the key features of Apple Arcade.

With Apple Arcade, all of the game titles are only on the App Store when it comes to mobile devices, but some are also developed for release on console. Apple Arcade is also limited to new content and doesn't include popular older apps like Play Pass.

Given that Google is using existing games in Play Pass, it has a larger catalog of available titles at launch - hundreds, compared to Apple's 60+. Google says customers can count on new titles monthly, which is something Apple has also promised.

According to The Verge, Google plans to pay developers through user engagement with the apps, though it's not entirely clear what that means at this time. Google said that it's more than just screen time or number of app opens per week.

Google has been working on the Play Pass service since 2018, and began testing it out at the end of July.

Play Pass is available for Android devices in the United States this week, and will be expanding to additional countries soon. It comes with a 10-day free trial and after that, a subscription costs $4.99 per month, just like Apple Arcade.

Google is offering a promo, though, which will allow subscribers to sign up for $1.99 per month for the first year for a limited time. Play Pass content can be accessed through the new Play Pass option that you can get to by tapping the menu in the top left corner of the Play Store.

Article Link: Google Launches New $4.99 'Play Pass' Service on Android Devices to Compete with Apple Arcade
 
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Cow For Cow

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2019
1
7
As much as I really can’t stand almost anything Goolag does I think this may help rid the gaming industry of loot boxes.
Ever since Farmville it seems that more and more games are moving to a Pay2Play/Pay2Win model. This has almost entirely ruined console gaming for me. I used to wait outside of GameStop for the new Halo or COD game. Not anymore.
I really hope these “everything included” subscription services work out. Wouldn’t it be ironic to see apple take over the gaming industry!
 

man4857

macrumors member
Dec 19, 2016
62
38
Gilbert, AZ
I knew this was going to happen. Google will always make it seem like a better deal in comparison. But quality control and standards are higher in the Apple world to me, from the surface at least.

I think Apple's strategy with Arcade and supporting Xbox and PS4 controllers is to chip away at the gaming console manufacture's business. Why buy a PS4 or Xbox when the same games are available at Apple Arcade, same controllers, and with an iPad Pro, you can stream to the TV and play the same games with a much more powerful processor?
 

gixxerfool

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
1,038
675
For me it doesn’t change console based gaming. I enjoy collecting physical copies and I don’t necessarily need an internet connection to play them. I will gladly pay $60 for a new game in physical form that I will play than a subscription for games I MAY play.
 

Labeno

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2008
294
937
I think Apple's strategy with Arcade and supporting Xbox and PS4 controllers is to chip away at the gaming console manufacture's business. Why buy a PS4 or Xbox when the same games are available at Apple Arcade, same controllers, and with an iPad Pro, you can stream to the TV and play the same games with a much more powerful processor?
I though Xbox and PS4 controllers were only allowed to be optional... all games are required to be touch screen first, which makes it irrational to have games like Halo or Hollow Knight on iOS. If this is true, you'll not like see Apple taking over the console industry.
 

man4857

macrumors member
Dec 19, 2016
62
38
Gilbert, AZ
I though Xbox and PS4 controllers were only allowed to be optional... all games are required to be touch screen first, which makes it irrational to have games like Halo or Hollow Knight on iOS. If this is true, you'll not like see Apple taking over the console industry.
I guess it depends on how things turn out. I think the gaming industry will follow a trend similar to TV Shows, where now it's all about the subscription wars and which company can land deals with content creators. Gaming could be going through a similar transition, where the software developers contract out their work to Apple, Google, Samsung, whoever else decides to start an Arcade-like subscription service.

At the end of the day, PS4/Xbox is a platform for games. People buy the PS4/Xbox hardware to access that platform of games, cause there's not much value in the platform itself but the games. Apple is probably realizing that, they can make their platform more attractive by luring gamers into the platform.
 
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Analog Kid

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2003
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Curious how this will work for apps. Do you get to use them forever, or until they're removed from the subscription list...
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,810
2,708
Google missed the boat here and copied the wrong thing.

This isn’t about a bundle of games for 5 bucks a month. Apple worked with game developers to curate an amazing set of games with broad appeal. Google just copies the bundling and prices, not the content strategy.

But then again, Google has never been one for good taste.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68020
Sep 26, 2017
2,038
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Tanagra
"Google has been working on the Play Pass service since 2018". Who copied who?
I'm sure Apple didn't just come up with Apple Arcade a few weeks ago either. It does make you wonder who planned it first and who just responded based on rumors. Apple usually takes a long time to come up with anything, so I'm guessing they've been courting developers for some time now.
 
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