Apple and Google are exploring subscription passes for all-you-can-play mobile game services. Both will offer rotating selections of mobile games with no time limits and all in-app rigaramole covered by the membership fee.
Apple Arcade “coming this fall” will offer over 100 games at launch. Apple announced the service in March, but has yet to divulge pricing or issue public invitations for testing. It will boast some exclusive game titles, over those just native to Apple’s regular app store, and promises to disable tracking, ads, and in-app purchases.
Google Play Pass, although not yet officially announced, was confirmed by Google to Android Police after they obtained images of the service. The $4.99 monthly subscription will give players access to curated games and some productivity apps, also with ads and in-app purchases turned off.
The challenge for both services is that mobile game players in general are notoriously cheap. Apple gamers generate more revenue than Android users, but both rely on rare whales to fund their overwhelmingly more popular free-to-play markets. A less discussed, but possibly more immediate concern, is the probability that some games will turn out to be much less addictive when you turn off their free-to-play timer business model.