I think it will only ever work on a small scale, but I see nothing wrong with that. Several things would have to happen, though.
- The game(s) would need to be excellent, entertaining, and of pretty good length.
- They would need to be cheap. $5 each, or maybe $10 for a set of three.
- The support of the community would be necessary. Look what happens without it.
- The author(s) would need to build a following. People buy what they already like.
- It would need to be taken seriously. No half-assed order fulfillment.
#3 and #4 are the hard parts, because it seems so difficult to get the community to support anything that strays from established norms. They can be downright brutal and vindictive, from the looks of things. Also, the IF authors who have the best chance of writing IF that would garner name recognition aren’t going to charge for their games anyway.
I’d do it just to force myself to write better IF. I’d do it just so I could stay motivated. I have a sick feeling, though, that the community would be against the idea no matter how much effort is put into it.