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

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.

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Top Rated Comments

bayelrey80 Avatar
62 months ago
Samsung Arcade announced by Friday ....
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Justanotherfanboy Avatar
62 months ago

"Google has been working on the Play Pass service since 2018". Who copied who?
Great question!
I assume Apple started working on Arcade like 4 hours before it came out- so I’m sure you’re right that Google thought of it 1st.

/s
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ButteryScrollin Avatar
62 months ago
it's not really competing is it? Play Pass just seems like a bunch of old apps and games that you can pay a subscription fee to remove the ads.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dan9700 Avatar
62 months ago
google copys apple shock
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
62 months ago
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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
62 months ago
Good on them for competing. I see nothing wrong with it. Still wouldn’t entice me to switch over Lol.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)