What if... How do I put this... here, this works better:
Imagine a company like Microsoft. They're huge, they've got more money than most second-world nations (and probably more pull than a few first-world nations). They decide that the competition in gaming is fierce, and hire a troubleshooter to make the, "most realistic game ever created, something where an entire universe is yours to explore and do with as you will."
The troubleshooter, as troubleshooters will, decides to bring in the experts. Who do you call when you need a universe but high-energy particle physicists and philosophers! Then you create a black-box project, lock them up with NDAs, and pray for a miracle.
A few years pass, the media fervor about high-level scientists going to work for MS dies down, and then the troubleshooter gets a ring, "We're done... but you're going to need to see this to believe it."
The troubleshooter visits, and is blown away by the imagery, the realism of the people and aliens alike, and the feel of the whole thing. He starts raving about how this will be a revolution that will crush the competition.
Cue scientist, "Um. There's one slight problem."
"Well, you know how you said you wanted the user to have a whole universe to explore, to do with as they will?"
"Well, we... um... haven't so much simulated a universe as such. No... it turned out to be much easier just to create one."
One thought crosses the troubleshooters mind: How in the hell to we copy-protect this?!?
Can you imaging the packaging? Would each game come with its own pocket universe? Advertise it along the lines of 'Every game unique.' How would MS deal with those universes that weren't exciting enough for your average FPS gamer?
Oh, and we won't get into the moral/ethical/legal issues. Are those universes wards of the state?
Anyway, that's been on my mind for the past week or so, now it's on yours.