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I mean we pay for online, and get free games every month. Put 100 hours in Slime Rancher since I got it for free on GwG, got to try some other games I would never try otherwise like Vermintide.
But a payed online service can help prevent spam accounts, on PS3 I got riddled with spam accounts and bots, on Xbox I was free from that, only had to deal with those nasty little critters on COD also known as squeakers. If the hardware publishers could only profit from game sales and hardware sales, then they would be screwed.
Microsoft who is in last place rn, is also resting easily with services like XBL and game pass growing as hardware sales are slowing down. Microsoft would be out of the race without paid online services existing and keeping Xbox afloat.

Who cares if it is unfair to the small few that can't afford $5 a month, it is good for the majority of us actual gamers who want the companies to succeed, and depend on competition for good games to play.