Quality and innovation are not the key. Advertising is the key. Unless your game is truly terrible (which AC was not, it just wasn't good), you can spend enough on advertising and advertising-related endeavors such that hype will glide you along to profitability.
I think you're missing the guy's point. Sure, advertising is necessary. Who would argue with that? I think what this guy is saying is that what's important when it comes to a purchasing decision is the perception of the game in the buyer's mind, and that the buyer's overall perception isn't as influenced by reviews as it is by his perception of the game's content and quality gleaned from other sources. That doesn't necessarily result from advertising hype.
AC succeeded because it looked
like a cool, exciting game to play--an assassin jumping around and backstabbing people is inherently cool in the eyes of gamers--and BECAUSE IT WAS AN A-LIST TITLE FROM A MAJOR PUBLISHER. (PoP:SoT didn't succeed because, even though it had publisher cred, its content apparently didn't particularly appeal to the mass of gamers. Gamers today love evil: princes in shining armor are out, dark, bloody assassins are in.) If AC had been a $20 shelf-stuffer from JoWood, it would likely have flopped, no matter what the reviews said. As long as Ubisoft puts out the best quality stuff they can, and the stuff they put out "looks cool" in the eyes of gamers, AND they retain their brand credibility in the mind of the consumer, their games will sell.
The game review "industry" (and it almost is, or was, one) has brought this on themselves. Reviews by any except a very few established names--and who but true geeks even know who those people are--are mostly worthless, because anybody and everybody who has ever played a videogame thinks they're a game reviewer and now clogs the web with his/her shallow, sometimes incomprehensible and contradictory opinions. I give little credence to the vast bulk of what I read about a game, because I know that the vast bulk of what I'm reading has been written by simpletons...I also know I'm not alone in that. The same goes for movie reviews and just about every other other kind of review in the age of the Internet. Their ubiquity and the poor quality of their authors has made them worthless as any kind of dependable guide to quality. (This is not an attack on all game reviewers. There are some very good ones out there--Chick, Geryk, et al--but Metacritic doesn't measure the good ones. It lumps everybody in together, which makes its scores something akin to judging the quality of a school's football team by measuring the muscle mass of the entire student body.)