It's been just over a year since Google began testing Google Play Pass, a subscription service for gaming on mobile devices. Apple quickly announced Apple Arcade, a near copy of the service. However, like many of the new and exciting Google services, it was region locked to a small number of countries. Since coming out of preview, the list has not grown much, until now.
Google has announced that Google Play Pass is officially expanding in a big way - with 24 new countries coming online right now. This brings the full count of countries to 34. For users in these countries, all you need is a compatible device running Android 4.4 or higher and a valid payment option attached to their Google Account.
When it comes to subscription services, one of the biggest challenges can be international expansion. The service has to ensure that they have licenses to distribute content in these new markets. They have to ensure that there is regionalization for the markets. They also have to make sure that the service is a good value proposition for subscribers. In gaming, it can be even more difficult, as some games use technologies that are not always exportable, meaning that the games that are available in the US may not be available in the UK. Plus, a game may not have German language capabilities to be valuable in Germany.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Google Play Pass is worth the money. There is also the issue of subscription fatigue, something that we have discussed many times over the past year. While most of the focus has been on video services, we have seen a huge increase in the number of subscription services. For heavy mobile gamers, though, a service like Google Play Pass or Apple Arcade can be a valuable option.