Ubisoft finance officer Alain Martinez has told a finance conference audience that the publisher hasn't put the same faith in review score averages since the runaway success of Assassin's Creed last year.
"To be honest, when Assassin's Creed launched and got 82 per cent, we were desperate, and we thought we were going to die," he said, as quoted by Gamasutra.
However, sales of the game were very healthy - over two and a half million in four weeks, leading Ubi to raise its initial projections from three to five million sales. As a result, the company questioned whether the link between average review scores and game sales was as strong as it thought.
Martinez cited an opposite example - the high-scoring but relatively low-selling Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which earned a rating of 92 per cent on Metacritic.com.
"If you look at our first Prince of Persia, we thought it was going to do great," he said, "[but] it did two million, so we were kind of disappointed."
Moving on to the latest Prince of Persia, released last week, Martinez said that Ubisoft thought two and a half to three million sales was "clearly achievable" for the title. He cited the same sales projections for Far Cry 2, which hasn't sold as quickly as the company had hoped it would, but which Ubi is now "repromoting".
Martinez lamented the lack of chart-topping titles in Ubisoft's recent history, saying that high chart placings were important in the current economic climate. "I would probably say competition is tougher, because there is more product," he said.