Gamepass will definitely affect sales of MS published games.... OBVIOUSLY. It is a very high value and significant service that gamers will use and enjoy.
As predicted gaming is becoming a proper service now. Good.
Is it better for the business to say "I sold 1m units" or "I have 2m monthly paying subscribers who played my game"? No brainer.
Umm.. Well, I would go with the 1 million copies sold ($60 mil) in one week versus counting "2m monthly paying subscribers" ($20 mil for first month and half) before the first week is even done.
There's a reason why mmos die off so much. They can't sustain a big enough player base. What really matters with game pass is how many tried the service for sea of thieves and how many will stay subscribed to it after the trial ends/done with the game. It hasn't been a month yet so we don't know if it being on that service was a positive for ms or the game. They're better off getting sales while it's at full price versus people using game pass to play it.