Haven't caught up with all the posts in the thread yet, but so far I have noticed it being more broadly speaking on the community part. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I personally focus my game as a commercial product (and I do often encourage most - most being the operative word here - to try to focus on that.)
It really just comes down to: holding myself to a higher degree of quality (when customers are holding you accountable for a quality product, it's difficult to cut corners), (hopefully) getting a return on the money I have invested into my project, and increasing the perceived value of my product.
(long soap box incoming)
I'm no longer at a point in my life where my hours spent on a product can just be released for free. I neither have the time nor the money to justify that. I also believe that people who do release a high quality product for free are doing themselves and the entire community a disservice, despite it being a generous gesture as a whole to players, it inherently devalues games. Here's my hot-take:
customers already feel entitled with many other media: music is just a few bucks a month for every song ever making music virtually worthless.
Movies & TV, once again, just a few bucks a month for every movie and TV show ever.
So many social media platforms allow you to access more hours of watchable content than the lifetime of the universe all for the low cost of a few ads (unless you have adblocker than the cost is literally nothing).
While things like Game Pass are starting to become more prevalent, games still sort of hold a bastion of value in media we consume, and whenever a high quality game gets put out for free (no strings attached, I should clarify - so f2p gacha filth not withstanding - sort of, discussion for another time), consumer's perception slowly whittles away of what a game's value should be. There's a more nuanced discussion here about what pricing is appropriate, and I feel that without that discussion included my hot-take will also be misunderstood or picked apart but, let's face it, this post is already long and I have more points to make, so I'll just leave it at that.
This brings me to perceived quality. Here's an anecdote for you:
When I was in my teens I worked an estate sale. There were all sorts of neat antiques getting sold off but we had a handful of gaudy paintings no one was interested in. On the last day of the estate sale, the manager walked over to the paintings, removed the current price stickers, and placed new prices that were either double or even triple the original price. But why?
Because we often equate price with quality. High price = high quality, low price = low quality. A fallacy, for sure, but it's the same tactic you see used by high-end fashion where prices for a plain white t-shirt with nothing but a tiny little logo in the corner somewhere will sell out day one. They also rarely put their clothes on sale because discounts on their clothes hurt the perception people have on the quality of the brand.
Apples to oranges, but the psychology, I believe can be similar with games.
Which brings me to the final point: whenever I talk about how I am considering pricing my game to folks, other RM devs say, "You're insane. $15?"
We'll see if that decision comes back to bite me in the [pg-13] butt once it's actually released, but I feel very confident that $15 is a fair price for customers to pay while not inherently devaluing the quality of my game (not to mention, when it does go on sale, a 33% discount is going to look like people are getting a much better deal on a game that is selling for $15 then if a game selling for $3 has a 50% discount. People like to snipe good deals. I can't tell you the number of times I have seen cheap RM DLC go on sale and realize "I'm only saving $1...I can just buy it whenever because I'm not really saving that much money while it's on sale...")
So that's a long, long tangent basically to say: I think it's good that folks are focusing more on commercializing their game if it means higher quality games.