Following a rumour that originally surfaced last year, Google has confirmed that it’s currently testing a game subscription service much like the upcoming Apple Arcade, offering a way for Android users to access a variety of premium, IAP-free games for a low monthly cost.
While Google hasn’t officially released any details about the service apart from the fact it exists, leaked screenshots give us an in-depth look at what Google Play Pass will offer when it eventually reaches the market.
Here’s all you need to know about Google Play Pass, including release date rumours, pricing details and key features of the subscription service.
When will Google Play Pass be released?
The rumoured game subscription service for Android users is currently in testing, as has been confirmed by Google, but what is unclear is when we should expect the service to launch. Google’s main competition in this area looks to be Apple Arcade, a service coming to macOS, iOS, iPadOS and Apple TV later this year.
If Google wants to compete with Apple’s offering, it may decide to launch it around the same time, or possibly alongside the Google Pixel 4 reveal at some point in October.
Even once it is released, there’s a chance that Play Pass won’t be available everywhere at launch. The currency of the leaked pricing (which we go into more detail about below) suggests that it’ll be available in the US at launch, although we hope that the likes of the UK and the rest of the world get access at the same time, if not soon after.
Of course, we’ll update this section once Google confirms its release plans, so check back frequently for the latest Play Pass release date details.
How much will Google Play Pass cost?
Like with any subscription-based service, pricing is key. After all, if the service is too expensive and not enough people sign up, Google will begin to lose money. With that being said, an Android user sent screenshots of the service to Corbin Davenport at Android Police and, amongst the features on offer, it mentions US pricing.
Unless Google changes its mind between now and the eventual launch, the Play Pass subscription will only set mobile gamers back $4.99 a month – half the price of Apple’s $9.99 a month Arcade subscription. While not confirmed, we’re confident that will translate to £4.99 in the UK – after all, the two currencies are on a par these days. There’s also a 10-day trial on offer to see what the service offers.
Google has since confirmed that the Play Pass app and subscription service are in testing at the moment, suggesting that the screenshots are indeed legit.
If true it’s certainly an attractive price point, especially if Google offers a range of premium games, and it provides Android users with a way to try out a myriad of great mobile games that they may have otherwise missed out on.
Google Play Pass features
So, what exactly is Google Play Pass? It’s an upcoming game subscription service likened to Apple Arcade, with the aim of offering a variety of premium, app-free games for you to enjoy for a low monthly cost. Think of it as the Netflix of Games, although the titles are downloaded instead of streamed like with other game streaming services.
Details are admittedly still scarce as Google is internally testing the subscription service at the moment and, like with most unreleased products, elements of it could change before its public debut – whenever that may be. The screenshots provided to Android Police provide us with an overview of the service, with an info page giving an outline of the service.
It reads, “Explore a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between. From action hits to puzzles and fitness trackers, with Google Play Pass you unlock access to hundreds of premium apps and games without ads, download fees or in-app purchases”.
So far, so good right?
Of course, being a pre-release product it’s hard to say what kind of apps and games will be included in the service, but screenshots suggest the likes of Stardew Valley, Marvel Pinball and Limbo will all be a part of the service.
While there’s not much more information available about the Google Play Pass right now, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any other leaks in the coming weeks and will update this article as necessary, so check back frequently for the latest details. Why not follow us on Twitter, too?