Google launches Play Pass app and game subscription service

The $4.99 per month service lets users access over 350 premium games and apps with no ads or in-app payments.

screen-shot-2019-09-23-at-2-55-41-pm.png

Google on Monday officially launched Play Pass, its game and app subscription service that rivals Apple Arcade. The $4.99 per month service lets users access over 350 premium games and apps with no ads or in-app payments. As an early sign-up promotion, Google is offering Play Pass for $1.99 per month for the first year. The Play Pass also lets users share a subscription with up to five family members. 

Overall there are a lot of similarities between Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade. Apple's game service launched September 19 in 150-plus countries, with around 100 exclusive games included with the subscription. Pricing is $4.99 for a family subscription, with a one-month free trial available to new users. 

The two services diverge when it comes to the catalogs. Apple Arcade is focused solely on games, whereas Play Pass includes games but also apps such as AccuWeather, Facetune and Pic Stitch, for example. Meanwhile, Apple's games in Arcade are exclusives, meaning they aren't available outside of the iOS ecosystem. The games on Play Pass include many cross-platform and existing titles.

In terms of developer incentives, neither Google or Apple are sharing precise terms. In a blog post for developers, Google says "the more that subscribers enjoy your title, the more revenue you'll earn on a recurring basis."

RELATED COVERAGE: