When Apple announced its monthly subscription gaming service called Apple Arcade, everyone expected Google to launch its own similar service. It's taken Google some time to launch a competing service, but it seems that service is here. Google is now testing a service called Google Play Pass.
Google's Play Pass service calls out access to games and apps indicating it won't just be an arcade offering. The app images are from the signup page allegedly seen by an unnamed reader and sent to Android Police. The signup page offers a subscribe link and calls out a monthly fee of $4.99.
App users will appreciate that the Play Pass notes there are no purchases, no ads, and all in-app purchases are unlocked. The info page on the app reads, "Explore a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between. From action hits to puzzles and fitness trackers, with Google Play Pass, you unlock access to hundreds of premium apps and games without ads, download fees or in-app purchases."
Some of the game apps are popular ones, including Stardew Valley and Marvel Pinball. Stardew Valley has proven to be a very popular game on multiple platforms, and for those who haven't played it, the game has the feel of an old Zelda game. Google has reportedly confirmed that the Play Pass is in testing, but has offered no details on when the service might launch widely.
It's also unclear how many people are seeing the test for Play Pass turn up. As for the unlocked game and apps, developers may be more interested in an Android subscription service since Android users don't come close to the sort of spending on apps iPhone users are known for. Presumably, apps on the service will have been checked for malware, something that is a big issue on the Google Play Store.