If you decide to convert a free game page to a paid one you might be wondering if people who downloaded the game for free in the past are still able to continue to download it for free. The short answer is no, they will not.
On itch.io, when you put money towards a game, you get a unique download URL. This URL gives you access to the game even if the price changes. People who download games for free do not "own" the game. They are only able to download the game while it is free. (Note: If you do want someone to own a free game, you can generate a download key for them)
When your game is free, any amount someone donates will get them a download key for ownership. This means that if people have donated to your free game 1 dollar, and you later put it for purchase at 10 dollars, they will still have access to the files. If you have an issue with this, send us a message and we can convert those existing purchases to donations that don't give download access.
The only exception to this rule is individually priced files. These are files that are only available to purchases above a certain amount. As you would expect, the amount donated originally much be above the price point for them to get access to the file.
Check out the relevant sections in our documentation if you haven't already: