Google takes on Apple Arcade with mobile game service

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 24 2019 07:52 AM | Updated as of Sep 24 2019 09:39 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - Google on Monday unveiled a subscription service for games and apps on Android-powered mobile devices in a direct challenge to Apple Arcade.

Google Play Pass promised access to hundreds of "awesome" games free of ads or hawked virtual wares at the same $4.99 monthly subscription price as that of the Arcade service Apple launched last week for iOS devices.

"The Play Pass collection spans hundreds of titles, from games that help you unwind to apps that power productivity," Google product manager Austin Shoemaker said in an online post.

"Play Pass is coming to Android devices in the US this week, and we'll be bringing it to additional countries soon."

Some of the game titles included in the launch will be Terraria, Monument Valley, Risk and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

It will also include apps such as Accuweather which are free of in-app purchases, upfront payments or advertising.

Google said it will add new games and apps to the service each month. The internet giant also enticed people with a temporary offer to let them subscribe at a reduced price for the first year.

"Play Pass helps encourage people to try new experiences they would not have otherwise," said Maria Sayans, chief executive of Monument Valley maker Ustwo games.

Play Pass was announced just days after the launch of Apple Arcade, which rides a trend of video games played by subscribers instead of purchased as downloads or disks.

Apple Arcade offers unlimited access for a flat monthly price to more than 100 exclusive games uninterrupted by ads or the hawking of virtual goods.

Arcade, and now Play Pass, fit into a subscription model that is gaining traction, according to analysts.

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