At its very core, a video game developer begins a project with two simple concepts in mind.
To tell a story, and for that story to be successful. As horrible as it is to focus on, the pursuit of financial reward for their efforts is an integral part of the process, as not only is the livelihood of the developer at stake, but successful titles attract bigger budgets, bigger opportunities, and of course increase the reach the narrative their trying to tell can have.
Still, at some point, developers come to a crossroads, where the two ideals of storytelling and monetary gain don't walk the same path together but pull in different directions.
Maybe the narrative you're trying to tell isn't going to attract a mainstream audience, maybe it's not going to sell well because it doesn't tick the boxes that a lot of other successful titles have done in the past. In that case, the question is, "Are you ok with this?"
If yes, then you've chosen to forgo big bucks for some artistic integrity... and if you chose the other route?
Well, you pretty much confirm to the world that you may indeed be a sellout and you end up on lists like these.