Google Launches Play Pass Subscription

Posted on September 23, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, Mobile with 11 Comments

Google today announced Google Play Pass, a new subscription service with 350 completely unlocked apps and games. That means no ads, no in-app advertising, or up-front payments.

“Google Play has always been about connecting you to the best apps, games and digital content out there,” Google’s Austin Shoemaker writes. “Since everyone plays a little differently, we’re introducing a new way to enjoy many of these digital experiences: Google Play Pass.”

Google Play Pass is debuting in the U.S. this week and it will come to additional countries soon. It costs $4.99 per month and you can get started with a free 10-day trial if you’re curious. And for a limited time, you can get Play Pass for only $1.99/month for your first twelve months.

Of course, the big deal here is the app and games collection.

“You’ll find well-known apps and games like Terraria, Monument Valley, Risk, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and AccuWeather,” Shoemaker says. “And others you might be less familiar with that are just as amazing, like LIMBO, Lichtspeer, Mini Metro, Old Man’s Journey and many more. With new additions every month—including titles like This War of Mine and Cytus coming soon—there’s always something new to discover.”

As Apple did with Arcade in its own mobile app store, Google has added a Play Pass tab in the Google Play Store so you can browse the available titles. And as Apple did with Arcade, a Play Pass subscription can be used with up to five other family members.

You can learn more about Google Play Pass here. But as I did with Apple Arcade, I’ll be taking a pass on this one.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google Launches Play Pass Subscription”

  1. will

    Apple first, then Google

  2. jgraebner

    That was fast. I figured Google would copy Apple on this one, but I figured they'd at least wait to see if Apple's version succeeded.

  3. jeff.bane

    Copy Apple, worked so well with the notch.

  4. Dan1986ist

    If Knights of the Old Republic in Google Play Pass is a port of the PC game from years ago, wonder how playable it will be for those who've played the original version?

  5. toukale

    As others have pointed out, there is nothing here for folks like me. The few things on the list that would get me to actually sign for this I already own/paid. I think that's the problem Google will run into on Android. Those of us who actually pay for things on Android already have/paid for those things. This would be attractive for those users who have yet to pay for some of those apps, however If they have not done so till now, I don't think this will get them to rent it. It makes no sense what so ever for them.

    • jdmp10

      In reply to toukale:


      I think the 10 day trial will be enough time to see if this meets someone's to continue paying $1.99/month for the first year.


      I do agree with you with regards to dedicated paid apps that are one-time purchases, a subscription for those type of apps doesn't really make sense because like you said, most of us who need a paid app, we have already bought that and with no in-app purchases for many of those types of apps, it's a one-time purchase and we're done.


      This subscription is mostly targeting casual to moderate mobile gamers who like trying new games but may not always wanna fork up $0.99/$1.99/$2.99 or maybe upwards of $4.99 (I didn't see any games in the Promo that retailed for $4.99 but you get the picture) each and every time a new and interesting game is released.


      Apple's Arcade product does seem to offer more AAA titles and exclusive titles and should have broader compatibility between the iPhone, iPad, MacOS and Apple TV but I suspect anyone on those devices will have to be on iOS 13 to use Apple Arcade. Play Pass requirements needs a device running at least Android 4.4 so it's definitely available on a much larger userbase than iOS devices capable of running iOS 13 even though initially it's only available in the US.

  6. minke

    In general, I am not a fan of the subscription economy. I understand that app developers need to get paid, but for someone like me that maybe downloads five or six apps a year and rarely keeps more than one or two of them, while deleting some others, a subscription makes no sense. Personally, I would rather just pay $4.99 once in awhile for an app I really, truly want. Just be sure to give us a reasonable trial period with no gimmicks--a sure way not to get paid is to cripple the unpaid version of the app in order to try to force me to pay. I can live without most paid apps.

  7. Patrick3D

    If Stadia supports this it could be interesting, but most hardware people buy that runs Android are woefully underpowered to be desirable gaming systems. At least Apple has AppleTV as a set-top box for games.

  8. mikes_infl

    This sounds like Amazon's "Underground - actually free" program except it has a recurring fee. Any bets that it doesn't last as long as the Amazon plan? ( less than 4 years )

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