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Google Launches Play Pass: A Move to Take On Apple Arcade?

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Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google division recently launched a subscription service for more than 350 ad-free apps and games. The services won’t require any upfront payment or in-app purchase.

Called Google Play Pass, the service will provide content from AccuWeather and many other apps. Family-friendly content from Toca Boca classics and My Town series will also be available.

The launch will help Google expand in the booming global mobile app market, which per a report from Sensor Tower, generated $71.3 billion in 2018, up 22.7% from 2017. Further, the market recorded $39.7 billion in revenues in the first half of 2019, up 15.4% from a year ago.

Focus on Game Subscription

Play Pass will offer a selection of games titled — Monument Valley, Terraria, Risk, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, LIMBO, Lichtspeer, Mini Metro and Old Man’s Journey — to name a few.

It will offer new apps and games every month. Games like This War of Mine and Cytus will be added soon.

Play Pass will be available on Android devices in the United States starting this week. The service will be introduced in other countries soon.

The subscription service is expected to aid Google in rapidly penetrating the global video game market which is riding on growing proliferation of mobile games. According to a report from Lucintel, the market is likely to witness 6.4% growth between 2019 and 2024 to reach $179.1 billion.

Per a report from GlobalData, the video game industry is likely to see a CAGR of 13% between 2018 and 2025 to reach a worth of more than $300 billion.

To tap the opportunities in the video gaming space, companies like Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Electronic Arts are also leaving no stone unturned.

Alphabet Inc. Price and Consensus


Alphabet Inc. Price and Consensus

Alphabet Inc. price-consensus-chart | Alphabet Inc. Quote

Should Apple Take Heed?

We believe Google is likely to pose tough competition to the iPhone maker, which ramped up its gaming initiatives by launching the subscription-based Apple Arcade platform two weeks ago.

Apple Arcade offers games like Ballistic Baseball, Overland, Exit the Gungeon, Pac-Man Party Royale, Skate City, The Enchanted World and The Brandwell Conspiracy. Moreover, games from AAA developers like Frogger in Toy Town and Shinsekai: Into the Depths are expected to be released soon on the platform.

Notably, Apple Arcade subscription costs $4.99 per month.

Google has also set the price of Play Pass at $4.99 per month. Apart from the price, popularity and a strong user base of Android compared to that of iOS are expected to lend an edge to Google, building pressure on Apple.

How Are Other Services Priced?

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Amazon Twitch areis priced at $9.99 per month and $10.99 per month, respectively.

Meanwhile, leading developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of interactive video game software and content, Electronic Arts offers its subscription-based gaming service called EA Access at $4.99 per month.

Wrapping Up

Nevertheless, Google’s growing gaming initiatives will continue to lend it a competitive edge. The company had also unveiled its gaming platform, Stadia, at the beginning of this year.

It will enable users to stream games on devices like smartphones, laptops, desktops and tablets. Google will leverage its robust cloud products and services, and strong datacenter network for the same.

Currently, Google-parent Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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