It was a major surprise when Microsoft and Square Enix announced a few weeks ahead of the Outriders launch, that it would be included with Xbox Game Pass. It was a major third party title after all, and those usually weren't included with the service. But going this way, seems to have paid off for Square Enix.
The company's president Yosuke Matsuda revealed this to investors at a financial briefing last month which now has been translated to English:
"In regards to the response to Outriders, while there were slight issues with bugs and the like on launch, we believe it has gotten off to a good start as a new IP. In addition, we have been pleasantly surprised as the digital sales ratio for the title have been very high, and the number of active users has also beaten our expectations.
We believe that our decision to make Outriders available with Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass as soon as the title launched also worked in our favour."
It has been reported on several occasions previously that Xbox Game Pass can actually boost game sales as it often increases the number of players and makes them games more popular. It seems like this description fits Outriders as well, and Square Enix recently said that it is on track to become their "next major franchise".