Great news for those who enjoy mobile gaming, as Google appears to be testing a service called Play Pass that would offer unlimited access to “hundreds of premium apps and games." The service sounds similar to Apple’s Arcade, though it appears to extend past games and into a variety of apps, all for $4.99 a month without any ads or in-app purchases.
The Play Pass appears to be in the last stages of testing, and looks to include outstanding premium titles, such as Stardew Valley, which is a hit on every platform it lands on. Such a subscription service may be the perfect option for those who enjoy mobile gaming, since this provides access to a wide variety of apps that one may not otherwise try. As we have seen with similar models on other platforms, there are also benefits for developers in joining such a service.
Microsoft recently launched a subscription service for PC gaming called the Xbox Game Pass for PC. For an introductory price of $4.99 a month, users are offered something similar to what Google is working on with its Play Pass, giving players access to a broad range of high-quality games without the need to purchase any outright.
This allows players who are busy or on a budget to try games they might not otherwise check out, and perhaps discover that a certain game is right up their alley. This in turn may bring more sales to a developer, and at the very least, brings them a level of free advertising that might otherwise not exist. Recently here at TheGamer we reported that Mike Rose, the creator of Descenders for the PC, saw a massive upswing in the number of people playing and buying his game thanks to the exposure of the Xbox Game Pass.
While there is currently no formal launch date for the Google Play Pass, it does appear to be in the final stages of testing. If the product looks anything like what Microsoft has done, we may be looking at the future of how consumers access mobile games.
Overall, the Play Pass seems like a fantastic service, at least in principle. If indeed the service offers access to a broad library of the best mobile games, all free of ads and in-game purchases, this would be a step in the right direction for mobile game consumers. There are so many poorly made games for mobile devices that are pay to win, reskins of old, tired concepts, filled with intrusive ads, or that simply want to harvest your personal information for sale to a third party. An affordable subscription service that does away with all that would be ideal, and welcome.
For now, we can only wait until Google formally announces and launches the service, but there appear to be zero downsides to the Play Pass.