Google Play Pass has finally debuted in India — over two years after its launch in the US. The subscription-based paid service brings access to apps and games on Android, without ads and in-app purchases. Google offers Play Pass to consumers in monthly and yearly subscription options, through which they get access to a list of apps and games. The service rivals Apple Arcade that provides a similar ad-free experience on a range of games available specifically for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV.
On Monday, Google announced that Play Pass will be rolled out to Android devices in India this week. The service offers a curated collection of over 1,000 titles across 41 categories from developers across 59 countries.
Play Pass also includes 15 titles from Indian developers to begin with. These include games such as Jungle Adventures from Rendered Ideas and World Cricket Battle 2 from Creative Monkey Games.
Google said that it would continue to work with global and local developers to add new games and apps to Play Pass every month. Developers have also been provided with a dedicated webpage from where they can nominate their titles for the service.
How to get Google Play Pass in India
Users can get Play Pass in India with a one-month trial and subscribe to it at Rs. 99 a month or Rs. 889 a year. The service is also available as a prepaid one-month subscription at Rs. 109. Further, users who have a Google family group can share their Play Pass subscription with up to five other family members.
Once Play Pass is rolled out, you can start its free trial by opening the Play Store on your Android device, tapping on the profile icon from the top-right corner, and then selecting the Play Pass option.
Subscribers see the dedicated Play Pass tab on Google Play for quickly accessing the collection of apps and games available through the paid service. The Play Pass ‘ticket’ also appears on the app listings when browsing titles on the Play store.
Google’s answer to Apple Arcade
“With the launch of Play Pass in India, we are excited to offer a robust collection of unlocked titles to our users and looking forward to partnering with more local developers to build amazing experiences users love,” said Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships, Google India, in a prepared statement.
While Play Pass does give the ad-free experience on various popular apps and games, there are still a large number of titles available on Google Play that require users to have individual subscriptions and in-app purchases.
Play Pass gives an opportunity to small-scale developers to get global exposure as the service is currently available in 90 countries across the world. However, the exact number of Play Pass subscribers has not yet been revealed by Google.
India is the second largest market for app downloads after China, according to app analyst firm Data.ai (formerly known as App Annie). The country is also one of the fastest growing markets for apps around the world. But nonetheless, it does not come in the list of top-20 mobile markets when it comes to consumer spendings on apps.
A recent report by Data.ai shows that China, US, and Japan were the most dominating markets for app consumer spend, with the US saw a 30 percent year-on-year growth of $43 billion (roughly Rs. 3,25,300 crore) in 2021.
Google did not answer on what made it bring the Play Pass service to India after over two years of its launch in the US.
Unlike Play Pass, Apple Arcade debuted in India and more than 150 countries worldwide in September 2019 alone. Apple’s service is available at Rs. 99 a month after a one-month trial. It is also available free for the first three months if you get a new Apple device.