The importance of Call of Duty's critical response pales compared to the thoughts of the series' fans, Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg has claimed.
As previously documented by MCV, while Call of Duty's review scores have trended down since 2009's Modern Warfare 2, sales have continued to rise – until this year, that is.
The publisher has previously blamed Ghosts' commercial performance on the transition from last-gen to current-gen consoles, which is fair – Call of Duty is far from the only franchise to suffer from significant year-on-year sales declines.
"We've been pretty transparent all year that we think, because of the challenges of the console transition year, that that was likely in the short-term,” Hirshberg told GameInformer, as reported by Videogamer.
I think it would be a mistake to conflate the challenges of the console transition year with any indications about the health of the franchise."
"I know that Call of Duty's a polarising franchise with some of the critics, and it's clear to me that not all the critics like our strategy of making a game every year, but thankfully our fans do.
"It's also clear to me that the critical response doesn't always mirror the fans' appreciation of a game. We actually do read the critics' comments and take them into consideration during our creative process, but we just can't measure ourselves by that yardstick alone.
Activision has previously said that Call of Duty: Ghosts has to date proved to be the single most successful next-gen title on both sides of the Atlantic across PS4 and Xbox One.