Google is testing a new premium app subscription service, which appears positioned in part to compete with Apple Arcade. The Google “Play Pass” costs $5 per month, and offers a selection of “hundreds of premium apps and games” without ads or in-app purchases.
Android Police reports that the service appears to be in the final stages of testing. It promises everything from puzzle games to premium music apps. Some of the games spotted include Stardew Valley, Marvel Pinball, and Risk.
The inclusion of premium apps in addition to games could serve as a distinction from Apple Arcade, which is a games-only subscription service. Like Play Pass, games in Apple Arcade won’t have in-app purchases or ads. Apple has secured development partners like Sega, Konami, Disney, Sumo Digital, and Cartoon Network, and it promises 100 exclusive games. Apple has also suggested it is helping assist with development costs for its partners.
One thing we don’t know yet about Apple Arcade is a price point. It’s due this fall, but if Google is in the final stages of testing with its own service, it could launch near or even before Apple’s subscription service, and possibly at a lower price.