Google Begins Testing for Play Pass in a Race to Overtake Apple Arcade
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August 01, 2019
Google has commenced testing Play Pass, a subscription service that will give users full access to all content including gaming and non-gaming apps. This is coming a few months after Apple announced its own version, Apple Arcade.
Competition between firms within an industry is nothing new and might be a bit more pronounced with technology giants. Google and Apple, for example, have been pitched against each other for a very long time with analysts constantly comparing products from both giants, like the Android and the iOS. Now, Google has just begun testing its Play Pass, a product which is pitted as a direct competition with the Apple Arcade, a mobile gaming service.
Back in March this year, Apple announced the Apple Arcade as “a game subscription service that will feature over 100 new and exclusive games,” and all Apple users will have access to this service when it is officially launched soon. However, Google seems to be putting finishing touches to the Android equal and has begun testing.
Some reports have it that there was already evidence pointing to the new Google platform, from last year. Now, screenshots of the Play Pass sign up page have made their way to the internet and show a monthly subscription fee of $4.99. This might be a tentative figure and there is every chance that the price could change before its official launch. Further details, apart from the subscription fee, include the option of a free trial for ten days. At the moment, there is no indication anywhere about how much the monthly subscription for Apple Arcade will cost.
The Apple Arcade is also expected to be launched later this year with gaming options from popular names like Sega, Cartoon Network, Annapurna Interactive and also, LEGO. Reports, however, have it that Google plans to launch Play Pass around the same time.
Play Pass will offer a mix of apps and not just games like the Apple Arcade. The screenshots show that Google is offering everything from “puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between”. Nevertheless, Play Pass is not purported to be a substitute for Google Play. However, the fact that a flat subscription fee will give unrestricted access to all the content on Play Pass is bound to create significant increase and adoption.
It can be assumed that the apps and games that will be available on Play Pass have had their owners or developers agree to terms and conditions. Simply put, any app from the Play Store that hasn’t been approved for Play Pass will not be accessible there. Some of the apps already shown in the screenshots include Stardew Valley, Marvel Pinball and Risk. Other games which have in-app purchases and are already in the Play Store might not make their way to Play Pass.
At the moment, Apple’s cash and marketable securities holdings are $102 billion, falling by $61 billion since the end of 2017. In comparison, Google has surged in the same period, by $20 billion, reaching new heights of $117 billion – towering $15 billion over Apple.
At the end of the July 31 market, Googled traded in red, losing 0.69% to close at $1,216.68 from a pre-market price of $1,219.50. With Q2 revenues rising by 19% to hit $38.94 billion, Google surpassed all the predictions of analysts and is poised to rise a bit more at the end of Q3.