What is Google Play Pass?

Google may attempt to compete with Apple Arcade with their own Play Pass subscription service.

Screenshots recently emerged that suggest Google may announce a Play Pass subscription service in the near future. Similar to the previously announced Apple Arcade, Play Pass will reportedly function as a monthly subscription service for premium mobile games for a set monthly price. As new info continues to leak ahead of Google’s official confirmation of Play Pass, we felt like it’d be a good idea to address what Google Play Pass is and some of the features it may have at launch.

Update (9/10/19): Google has officially confirmed the existence of Google Play Pass, though no release date has been announced. 

What is Google Play Pass?

What is Google Play Pass
Screenshots have leaked suggesting Google may have plans to announce a Play Pass subscription service for mobile.
© Android Authority, Google

Google Play Pass is an unannounced monthly subscription service for the Google Play Store with similar properties to Apple Arcade on iOS. XDA first uncovered evidence of Google Play Pass last year, suggesting that Google may have plans to announce the subscription service in the future, though no release date was found. Lending credence to these rumors are new screenshots as seen on Android Authority.

In the screenshots, a signup page can be seen along with a $4.99 (USD) subscription price. The service is promoted with the tag “all play, no interruptions” and aims to remove ads from the mobile gaming experience. Even if you play mobile games casually, the removal of ads (if true) is a pretty big deal. The full description of Google Play Pass as shown in the leaked screenshots is as follows.

“All play, no interruptions. Access hundreds of premium apps and games, with no ads or in-app purchases.

  • No purchases.
  • No ads.
  • In-app purchases unlocked.

No commitments. Cancel anytime. Family plan available.”

Another info page was also shown that teases some of the games and premium apps that will be included with Google Play Pass.

“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.”

Two game images are also shown in the screenshots that include Marvel Pinball and Stardew Valley. Keep in mind that Stardew Valley can be purchased for $7.99 (USD) on the Google Play Store. With a Google Play Pass subscription, it sounds like you’ll be able to play the game and other premium titles without having to purchase them individually.

Of course, it stands to reason that should you cancel your Play Pass subscription, you’ll no longer have access to Stardew Valley unless you purchase it separately. The removal of ads and having in-app purchases unlocked is also unique to Play Pass versus buying the game on its own.

All of these features feel similar to Apple Arcade which also promotes the removal of ads, no in-app purchases, and family plan options. Apple Arcade also lets you use the subscription service across devices from iPhone to Apple TV. We’re curious to see if Play Pass will function the same way, especially if Google intends to use Play Pass as a way to compete with Apple Arcade.

We already know about the Google Stadia streaming service with a Stadia Connect stream scheduled for August 19 at Gamescom. Perhaps Google will announce Play Pass at Gamescom as well? Stay tuned, as we’ll be posting updates about Google Play Pass as additional info becomes available. Until then, what do you think of Play Pass? Would you purchase a subscription to remove ads from your mobile games? Do you think the monthly price is worth it? Let us know down in the comments below! 

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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