Mobile

Google’s new gaming subscription includes 350 games and apps for $4.99 a month

Last week, Apple released its game subscription service, Apple Arcade. Now, Google is following suit with its own subscription service for Android devices — Google Play Pass.

A Play Pass subscription costs $4.99 per month, just like Apple Arcade, with a limited time offer to subscribe for $1.99 a month for the first 12 months. (The first 10 days are free with a trial, too.) Google said more than 350 apps and games for Android will be available in Play Pass, with no ads or in-app purchases.

Unlike Apple Arcade, Play Pass isn’t limited to just games — though there certainly are a lot of them, with titles like Monument Valley, Stardew Valley, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Terraria headlining the initial games offered.

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Google Play Pass bundles 350 Android games and apps for $4.99 per month

Apps like AccuWeather and Facetune will also be available as part of Play Pass. New games and apps are expected to be added each month, Google said. Everything will be listed in a new Play Pass tab that’s available for subscribers on the Google Play Store, though included apps and games are also available in other sections, too.

While Apple Arcade touts exclusive titles, Google isn’t requiring exclusivity for games included in the service, nor is it “directly funding development,” according to The Verge.

Google Play Pass is compatible with Android mobile, laptop, and tablet devices with Play Store version 16.6.25 and above, and Android version 4.4 and above, according to Google’s FAQ.

It feels like every day there’s a new subscription service, whether it’s for TV, movies, apps, or games. Last week, Polygon’s Patricia Hernandez wrote about the “Netflix model” of services coming to games, which can be a good value for consumers, letting them explore new titles with little risk. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn also considered the implications of subscriptions services on games, noting that there’s potential for these platforms to change how games are developed; without in-app purchases, Bohn said “it could motivate developers to make stuff that’s less scammy.”

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