Syp over at BioBreak is working on an interesting gaming project. He is valiantly attempting to flesh out a timeline for all MMOs in the history... of MMOs. While working on this project, he came to a stunning, if not somewhat obvious realization: MMOs don't take as many risks as they used to and the ones that do aren't rewarded for it. The latter is likely feeding the former in this situation.
It seems with all emerging genres that the pioneers really are just that; the risk-takers who pave the way for future products (or services). Over time though, this innovative spirit is lost or at least lessened to a great degree, and when it comes to satisfying the masses, it is somewhat understandable. Take the television, music, and motion picture industries for example. How many hospital dramas have we seen since E.R. first aired? How many recycled pop music tracks fuel success for the next big boy or girl band? We just can't wait to see the next super-hero movie sequel! While individuals may crave fresh ideas and implementations, "the masses," just don't seem interested.
However, not all creativity is lost. There are a number of independent MMO developers working on niche titles that might catch your eye. Don't bet on them being a huge hit with the masses, though we're sure they're just fine with that.