I got a game design.
We should make a fake MMO.
Complete with fake beta forums and fake beta testers and fake screenshots and a sixteen gig pre-order beta client that's just a bunch of zipped-up garbage from somebody's hard-drive that can't be downloaded until the week before the game goes live, when all the servers just "happen" to be down in preparation for Opening Day.
We can milk a little something extra if we have one of those deals where people get to unlock the Dreadfully Overpowered Minotaur Race if they sign up for a three month subsription at a special reduced rate when they pre-order.
Yah, I stole the Minotaur thing from Shadowbane.
Well, I'm not against stealing good game design stuff like that, man.
I dunno if we should try to sell game-cards, that's good money, and its not like the combined might of a bunch of kiddies who tried to go behind their parents back to play the game and crazy money-mattress folks who don't have credit cards is any great threat to us, but the whole retail thing is kinda a pain in the ass.
I mean, if you wanna get boxes made and stuff 'em with DVDs and mail 'em out that's fine but don't expect me to help you do any of that shit, and when they start wanting refunds and sending 'em back, its your baby, baby.
Well, I'd rather offer 'em the choice of Digital Download or having a retail box shipped, but then have the retail box-shipping part of the web page be unresponsive so everybody is forced to pick the Digital Download thing.
Yah, and make that the only way you can unlock the Minotaur Special Offer heh.
Anyway, on the day the game supposedly goes live, we'll take all the money and run off to some tropical resort in Mexico and keep the scam going via satellite.
Yah, see, the first thing we do is a HUGE fake patch that says it takes twelve hours to download, but actually takes three-to-seven days to download.
And then after that, we'll do the Queue Trick, y'know, like "oh so sorry, due to unexpected server load, the current time in queue is two hours and forty-five minutes," but the time in queue is all wonky and it goes up and down all night long and you never get out of queue.
Meanwhile we'll log in to the forums as if we're players and write awesome stuff like "Holy shit I thought this game was gonna suck after that horrible thirty-minute patch download and the five minute wait in queue but this game is so awesome! My Super Jumping Minotaur Pirate is already level 40 and I just bought a castle and a flying armored fire-breathing dragon-mount and I can finally dual wield my Legendary Vorpal Butcher Knives of Player Killing! I don't know what your problem is, my machine runs it fine with all the settings cranked up to max, maybe you need more RAM, I have 12 Gig of RAM, but my friend plays the game fine on his APPLEMACK LAPTOP!!"
And then we'll write some stuff like: "I think the Minotaurs are totally overpowered in pvp because its no fun to be stun-locked and decapitated all the time by their Unlimited Stomping Action that's so much better than they had in WoW I don't know what the devs were thinking giving minotaurs all that power they should pull their heads out of their asses."
And that will be the setup for complaining about how the devs tried to stealth-nerf Minotaurs, and the minotaurs are outraged!
But the minotaur nerf caused some server code problems, and the servers are going up and down a lot, and now we have to do another twelve hour patch!
And eventually we'll just write some sad story like they did for Horizons, y'know, where one of the most beloved fake game designers from beta died in childbirth or something, and the hospital costs were so expensive that we ran out of money and we're so sorry for all the people that have houses in the game but we can't keep the servers running anymore unless there's some kinda Joss Whedon We Couldn't Do It Without You Grassroots Fundraising Effort, which should be directed to a Paypal Account.