Google I/O is now over, and there was a ton of gaming news crammed into the three-day event. We’ve already covered much of it, but I wanted to take a look back on something that was discussed which I didn’t have time to report on until now. During the ‘What’s New with Google Play‘ session, Google’s Senior Director of Product Management, Alex Musil discussed developer-focused updates to the Play Store and its tools.
Mixed in the talk, however, were several important things of note regarding Google’s Play Pass and Play Points programs that may interest you. First, Google Play Pass is now available in 40 markets and offers more than 800 apps and games. That’s impressive seeing as how it’s still an invitation-only thing at this time. While we did know that we were over 800 titles with no in-app purchases or ads for just $5 per month or $29.99 USD per year respectively, it was interesting to learn that Play Pass has officially doubled in revenue across participating titles since its launch!
It’s clear that this has been a win for the company, and a successful way to draw attention to lesser-known apps and games for many users who would have otherwise not spent money on them. For example, games that have a lower replay value may have a difficult time selling at price points above a few dollars, or even free, and even notable titles have historically struggled to get gamers to buy in if their price tag is too high. I see Play Pass as completely necessary in a marketplace with as much depth and breadth as the Play Store, but what do you think?
Google’s Play Points program is also growing rapidly. It’s now in 22 countries including Australia, Germany, Norway, and Italy, and Alex mentioned that the company has plans to expand it to even more locations in time. It currently hosts 150 developers, including 60% of top game developers, and it’s been a great way for these developers to monetize their titles and engage with players.
I’ve collected my Play Points on the regular, and it’s been nice swapping them for a few dollars worth of Play Store credits, so I’m happy about this. I can’t really see myself buying in-game items with that credit, but I have purchased a fair few games in full from time to time! For me, it replaces the need for Opinion Rewards – something I feel may one day be swallowed up by Play Points.
On the first day of the I/O conference, the Play Store was also updated with 21 new Play Pass titles for you to claim! There are some notable additions here, like Faraway 2, Krystopia, and more, so I’ll link them below for you to dive in and take a look. If you decide to snag any of these for free with your Play Pass subscription, let me know! I want to eventually compile a list of the best Play Pass games, but I think that would be easier if I had some help from you, our audience. What are your favorite games that come with your monthly payment? Let me know in the comments, and as always – happy gaming!
New Google Play Pass games
- Night of the Full Moon
- Samorost 2
- Laser Quest
- Space Marshals 2
- Little Police
- SocialChess – Online Chess
- Faraway 2: Jungle Escape
- ROOMS: The Toymaker’s Mansion
- Escape Machine City: Airborne
- Tennis Champs Returns
- Maze: path of light
- Train your Brain
- Demon’s Rise 2
- Animal Circus – Joy Preschool Game
- One Line Coloring
- Parenting Hero – Become a wiser parent
- Krystopia: Nova’s Journey
- Learn fruits and vegetables – games for kids