Google has revealed Google Play Pass: an apparent competitor to Apple Arcade.
At the very least, the similarities between the two services are hard to deny. Much like Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass will allow subscribers to access a growing collection of mobile games for a set monthly fee. That fee is the same as it is for Apple Arcade ($4.99), but those who sign-up for the service before October 10th will only pay $1.99 a month for the first year.
This is where the differences between the two start to come into play. As you may imagine, Google Play Pass will feature a different collection of games than what you get with Apple Arcade. The full list of games is currently unknown, but it seems that heavy hitters like Monument Valley 2, Stardew Valley, Limbo, Terraria and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will all be included as part of the subscription.
Interestingly, it’s not clear at this time whether or not Google Play Pass will offer any exclusive games. That’s one of Apple Arcade’s greatest features, but Google hasn’t confirmed whether or not they will pursue exclusive games for this service. Considering that Google has already confirmed that Stadia will feature exclusive titles, though, it seems pretty likely that Play Pass will grow to include exclusive titles at some point.
This feels like a logical move for Google given the hype surrounding Apple Arcade, and subscription services like this feel like a natural progression for the mobile gaming industry. Many of the most popular mobile games still rely on aggressive microtransactions, which some feel has long prevented mobile game developers from charging a fair base price for quality work. This approach could help those developers get their games out there.
Google Play Pass is set to launch this week with over 350 games included in its initial library.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.