Earlier this month, Apple officially launched Apple Arcade alongside iOS 13. The service includes over 100 games with a mix of big publishers and indie studios contributing towards the library. Now, Google is looking to compete too with the Google Play Pass, a subscription service for Android that bundles 350 games and apps.
Google Play Pass has some key differences to Apple Arcade, the biggest of which is that it focuses on a mix of premium apps in addition to games. Apps and games that are part of the subscription service will also be available separately with their usual forms of monetisation, like in-app purchases or advertisements. Those that subscribe to Play Pass won’t have to deal with extra purchases or ads though.
There are some big-name games included in the Google Play Pass subscription, including Stardew Valley, Game Dev Tycoon, Limbo, Terraria, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and more.
Developers are paid a share of subscription revenue based on ‘user engagement’. So apps that bring in a lot of players for large chunks of time will make a lot more than smaller games designed to be played in small bursts. Just like Apple Arcade, the Google Play Pass will cost $4.99 per month but will only be available in the US for now.
KitGuru Says: On mobile, free to play and micro-transactions/ad-supported business models are the norm and are widely accepted. Hopefully subscription services like this will lead to a crop of better games that can find an audience without being buried in the ‘most played’ charts.