CUPERTINO, CA - MARCH 25: Ann Thai, senior product marketing manager of the App Store at Apple Inc., speaks during a company product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on March 25, 2019 in Cupertino, California. Apple announced the launch of it
CUPERTINO, CA - MARCH 25: Ann Thai, senior product marketing manager of the App Store at Apple Inc., speaks during a company product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on March 25, 2019 in Cupertino, California. Apple announced the launch of it's new video streaming service, unveiled a premium subscription tier to its News app, and announced it would release its own credit card, called Apple Card. (Photo by Michael Short/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael Short/Getty Images
Now playing
01:13
Apple launches game subscription service
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Major GOP donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:02
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges
Now playing
05:39
Ben & Jerry's calls for Trump's removal
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:49
Parler sues Amazon in response to being deplatformed
Panasonic
Panasonic's Augmented Reality Heads-up Display
PHOTO: Panasonic USA
Now playing
01:06
This tech gives drivers directions on the road in front of them
PHOTO: Wimkin
Now playing
03:18
The online warning signs of the violent Capitol siege
PHOTO: Twitter
Now playing
02:39
Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump from platform
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:56
'What are we supposed to do?': Rioter speaks to CNN reporter
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
01:38
Facebook blocks Trump through end of presidency
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:56
CNN speaks to Trump supporters about Trump's election lies
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
03:25
Google employee on unionizing: Google can't fire us all
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca.  (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca. (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
PHOTO: John Cairns/University of Oxford/AP
Now playing
02:36
AstraZeneca vaccine provides 'logistical convenience'
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump's name appears on a stimulus check on May 3, 2020.
PHOTO: Will Lanzoni/CNN
Now playing
03:05
Here's what the new stimulus package means for Americans
PHOTO: Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock
Now playing
02:27
Is working from home the new normal?
(CNN Business) —  

Pac-Man. Lego. Sonic the Hedgehog. An apocalyptic world where you work to survive along with the help of your trusty dog, Frosty.

All those games are found in Apple Arcade, Apple’s new game subscription service that costs $4.99 and launches on September 19 for iPhone.

It will have a catalog of over 100 games, with more to be added over time. Eventually it will be compatible with iPad, Apple TV and Mac.

Five dollars a month might seem cheap, but depending on adoption rates, it could be incredibly lucrative for Apple (AAPL). An estimated 50 million people could subscribe to Arcade within the next two years, according to Joost van Dreunen, managing director at SuperData, a Nielsen company that analyzes the video game industry.

At $4.99 per person, that’s $250 million for Apple each month, Dreunen estimated. It could be an even bigger audience, if some people use family-sharing plans get more members of their family playing as well.

It could also help Apple reach a higher stock valuation, as recurring revenue is considered more valuable by Wall Street than one-time transactional revenue, Dreunen pointed out.

“It’s a genius model,” said Dreunen. “Say they spent $200 to $300 million on content today. And then they just make $50 to $250 million a month on subscription fees. They break even on this deal three months later. By December, they’re starting to make a profit.”

The Arcade catalog is getting well-known franchises like Pac-Man and Lego, as well as a host of more unfamiliar indie games and new releases from big publishers like Square Enix and Ubisoft.

In "Sneaky Sasquatch," you can play a hungry sasquatch who
In "Sneaky Sasquatch," you can play a hungry sasquatch who's also a messy eater.
PHOTO: Shannon Liao/CNN

Many of the games are aimed at casual players, like “Skate City,” from Toronto-based developer Snowman, where you power a skater to ride the streets of Oslo, Norway or Los Angeles and complete tricks over stairs and ramps. Some titles are designed for children like “Sneaky Sasquatch” where you play a sasquatch who goes around stealing food and being silly.

In "Shinsekai," by the publisher of "Resident Evil" and "Street Fighter" franchises, you play a lone underwater survivor of the apocalypse, and oxygen is a precious resource.
In "Shinsekai," by the publisher of "Resident Evil" and "Street Fighter" franchises, you play a lone underwater survivor of the apocalypse, and oxygen is a precious resource.
PHOTO: Shannon Liao/CNN

Some of these games were in production for years before the developers started working with Apple to get them added into the Arcade catalog.

For a lot of the indie titles, Apple Arcade offers them some much-needed marketing and attention. The Arcade gets its own section in the App Store and will spotlight games that normally would have to compete in a much bigger sea of apps in a saturated market.

The cast of "Overland," an indie game by Finji, which changes depending on your playthroughs and is computer-generated from a selection of assets.
The cast of "Overland," an indie game by Finji, which changes depending on your playthroughs and is computer-generated from a selection of assets.
PHOTO: courtesy Apple

“If indie developers just put their game out into the wild on the platform, it’s up to people being able to discover their game,” said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at analytics firm Sensor Tower. “With Apple Arcade, you have this prestigious catalog of games that were selected by Apple. So there’s a reasonable assumption of quality there.”

Apple would not share details of the deals and how much of the $5 the developers would each receive but it is subsidizing development costs for the studios. It’s also continuing to negotiate more deals with other developers.

It could also shift the way that mobile apps do business.

Usually indie games cost a few dollars to buy in the App Store, and they don’t appear on the top-grossing charts, which remains dominated by free-to-play games.

“Candy Crush Saga,” “Fortnite,” and others rule the App Store, offering free downloads at the cost of microtransactions and mini-paywalls built inside the games to create a demand for virtual items.

Apple Arcade games won’t have any microtransactions.

"Where Cards Fall," a thought-provoking puzzle game by The Game Band and Snowman, can be played on a variety of platforms.
"Where Cards Fall," a thought-provoking puzzle game by The Game Band and Snowman, can be played on a variety of platforms.
PHOTO: Shannon Liao/CNN

“I think this is why Apple is releasing Apple Arcade: they understand that there’s a demand or a need in the market for a more premium service,” said Candice Mudrick, head of market analysis at analytics firm Newzoo. “It also frees the developer to make a game without necessarily needing to think about monetization mechanics in it.”

Still, it will be a slow process to woo consumers, analysts predict. People have been spoiled by free games.

“You’re going to have to get people out of the mindset that all games on mobile should be free to download. That might take a bit longer,” said Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights at mobile analytics platform App Annie.

Apple is likely to promote extensively. “You’re going to see a lot of people signing up for the one-month free trial,” said Sensor Tower’s Nelson. “It will probably take a long time for this to really bear fruit. But you have to start somewhere.”