For every $60 game sold, The publisher (Square Enix) makes about $28-30 bucks (physical game) and much more by selling it digitally.
How much do you reckon MS paid for having it day one on Gamepass? $1 million, 3 millions, 5 millions, 10 millions??
Also, The retailer (GameStop, Walmart, BB, etc) makes about 25% of the price or $15, so yes they are making some money by selling physical software.
I can’t imagine any retailer has more bargaining power than Walmart and they make so little on software that they cut $10 off all games (except Sony games for some reason, I guess Sony has a rule against retailers pricing their games) and even Walmart only gets 10-13% which means on a $70 Sony title they’ll “profit” $13. Compared to huge markups they see on cables, cases, controllers, chargers, etc. Or in GameStops case, huge markup on used games.
Regarding profit vs GamePass, you proved my point. When you say we “know” one platform profited more than the other, you’re just guessing with no numbers to stand on. The biggest flaw in your argument is that we don’t know what method of monetization Squeenix has with Outriders. We know MS gives some publishers a big check upfront. Other get paid for time, others by download, and others a mixture of some/all of those. We don’t know how they get compensated.