If games *didn't* equal money, then there wouldn't be quite so much of a "gold rush" mentality about them, would there? Low cost of entry (sorta), with potentially very high returns spells M-O-N-E-Y.
Make a good game and you'll probably make a decent amount of money. That's the dream, anyway. That's why people create teams and start divvying up the profits before they've even worked out the design. The profit potential is there. Just because most of these would-be Carmacks don't have a clue about creating a team, managing a team, and/or delivering a completed product (much less game design) is beside the point.
Creating entertainment that (other) people enjoy is *cool*. It always has been. First there was running away with the circus. Then going to Broadway. Then heading to Hollywood. Now it's "Create and sell a game on the Internet".
There's always a tendency for those who were in the industry before the "rush" to make long speeches about "passion over profit", how they weren't "in it for the money" and other such goofiness, but it begins wear thin after a while.
Fact is, computer games (whether for the PC, a game console, or a vt100 terminal) are now a form of entertainment that people pay for. A lot of people. More people every year.
Like it or not:
games == $$$