Is Google Play Pass the competition to Apple Arcade? Maybe, but it’s still too early to tell. Unfortunately GPP isn’t available everywhere, just in selected number of countries around the world. Also, the amount of games and apps offered with the subscription remains unclear. There simply isn’t a list with everything you get, and for a good reason.
What is Google Play Pass
Google Play Pass is a service by Google that offers free access to hundreds of premium Android games and applications, without annoying ads and in-app purchases.
Sound familiar? Yes, Google is neither the first nor the last, ok maybe the last of the big ones, company that offers this kind of subscription service. Almost every large publisher does it. Xbox has Gamepass, Sony has Playstation Plus, and even Ubisoft has Ubiconnect. So the idea is not new, but is it good?
Right now, Android as a gaming platform is seriously lacking behind. Sure, there are great games like Stardew Valley, Goat Simulator, Terraria (just to name a few), all accessible with the Play Pass, but newer games that already arrived on Apple Arcade are missing. Where is “TMNT Splintered Fate” that was released just a few days ago? Where is NBA 2k23 Arcade or Angry Birds Reloaded? Oh, they are Apple Arcade exclusives? Fine, where are the Google Play Pass exclusives then?
Well, not on the Google Play Store, that’s for sure. And yes, this is fine. Maybe Android has unique games that are not available on iTunes? Maybe? I don’t know. All I know is that the starting point of the subscription is $4.99/month, which makes it a direct competitor of Apple Arcade, and the value is clearly not the same.
Where is Google Play Pass available?
On top of that, Google Play Pass is only available in selected countries, for reasons apparently only known to Google’s half-capable marketing team. You can check out the list here, but the price will not change no matter where you live. Furthermore, Google clearly states that “Availability of games and apps on Play may vary by country.”, but refuses to provide an accurate list. Instead, you get a collage of icons just like the featured image of this article.
Whether it will take on and be something exceptional, or share the same fate as Stadia (RIP), we will have to wait and see. For now, it may be viable option if you use the family plan (instructions here), but I seriously doubt individuals will consider it as long term subscription. Maybe if Google added a few movies now and then. Something like a rotating video library, that you can only watch online.
But hey, this is just my opinion. I may be wrong (I hope I am), and GPP might as well become the next Xbox Game Pass, who knows. Just please remember:
Play Pass won’t give you access to all of Google Play, just a selection of apps and games. Availability of games and apps on Play may vary by country.Google
Dejan B. – “Google Play Pass, is it worth it?”