Let's ignore the basis for creating and playing games altogether, the roots and recent recognition in the arts and sciences; you are, if anything, describing publishers. Not game developers, but publishers - the article, and your arguments, talk about what a publisher wants from the game, not what the player necessarily gives a flying crap about or what the actual developer wants from their game. And your arguments are valid, to an extent - that extent does not permeate the entire MMO genre to the exclusion of everything else.
And what the publisher wants out of the developer can have a major impact on the course the game takes, especially after it's gone gold and the publisher either sees a way to increase profits, or wants the game to start turning a real profit.
I don't really think DICE would voluntarily basically ignore the needs and requests of their customers, yet every Battlefield game I've played tends to have lousy support - small patches take forever to arrive, often don't fix very simple things that have been mentioned numerous times, and I still don't know if they ever got VoIP working right in BC2. I know that 2142 was a great game that's essentially dead now due to a lack of support, despite the necessary support not really being very significant (a bug fix here, a small UI bugfix there.) Hell, they said that a Steam version of 2142 was ready months
ago, and it STILL hasn't arrived. It was direct from a high-ranking DICE employee that the Steam version was wrapped up and ready to go and would be going live within a week or two - three, four months later, it hasn't appeared and suddenly there's no more communication from them about it. EA's also been pushing a new Steam competitor digital distribution service for Battlefield 3 (among other games.) Coincidence?
It extends to a lot of other developers with gigantic, corporate publishers looming over them. Word is that Activision mostly leaves Blizzard alone, but ask most any long-term Blizzard player (and I'm not talking about just World of Warcraft), and most of them will tell you that they noticed a downward trend in the quality of Blizzard's support after they got into the sack with Activision. In this case, I'm more likely willing to believe it's coincidence, but both SC2 and Cataclysm felt like they were rushed out the door before finishing touches were made (SC2 still had some significant balance issues when it went live, Cataclsym... well, you can just look at how many subscriptions they've lost since Cataclysm went out the door for that one.)
I absolutely agree that a game needs to have a compelling story and/or gameplay in order to draw players to it, and it DOES have some bearing on KEEPING them playing... but as I mentioned earlier, the whole Skinner Box method is what keeps players playing long after the game's ceased to be truly fun. There are a LOT of players in WoW that are probably addicted to the point that they'd almost have withdrawl symptoms if they quit. I know I had trouble finding things to do for the first week or so after I quit a few months ago - I was so used to logging in and doing my dailies and other things (what really amounted to chores or even a second job, looking back on it - I wasn't doing them because they were fun) that I couldn't figure out what to do with my newfound free time. If you don't see the irony in that... heh
I guess I'm just really leery of most any new game these days. I've been burned too many times over the past six or seven years, and the more I look at the games industry as a whole, the weaker my faith in the industry to put out great titles becomes. Hell, it's like that with music these days, too. Seems like everything good was made ten or twenty years ago and we're just treading water until all the idiots die off so the good people can make a return