For example, FF13's dungeon design was vastly simplified, to the point that 99.99% of all dungeons in the game are single straight corridors, with no side paths nor possible ways to get lost. They're very pretty, but it's also very similar to playing "Final Fight: The RPG" -- walk forward, fight, walk forward, fight, walk forward, fight... This is indicative of a group of executives who have a very, very poor opinion of their target audience as a whole - "Today's gamers aren't smart enough to figure out a maze, make it a straight line."
Look, I'm not a fanboy - I hated FF8, never touched FF11, and thought FF5 and the NES titles were largely forgettable. But I've got to say something about this "linearity is bad" mentality.
Look at the FPS genre: the earliest examples were very nonlinear (W3D, Doom, Quake, etc.), providing the player with very little information about the environment. Half-Life and Half-Life 2 come along, providing the player with a completely linear experience with very little real choices for exploration, and get lauded as some of the finest games ever. Those who originally thought that exploration was a necessary part of the genre were proven wrong.
FF13 was an attempt to see if the same principle worked with RPGs. The answer is: it's mixed. On the one hand, the path forward never seems confusing or unclear, which is a mechanic consistent with the narrative (the protagonists always have a clear mission and destination in mind.) However, the lack of meaningful actions to take during the non-battle sequences (your choices are basically "advance to the next battle/plot point" or "open the menu") makes time in the field seem wasted or unnecessary. I hope future entries in the series (and JRPGs in general) take lessons from the game - the compromise seems to be "have a clear path forward, with optional activities available down alternate paths that clearly indicate that they are asides from the main quest."