The thing is, we (OK, so not all of us, but the population at large) did that to ourselves. People just don't want to pay for games any more. Instead they'll go for the "free" game and play that instead of the paid game.
What was the last truly successful MMO that required a subscription? We all know the answer: World of Warcraft. Nothing has come close to it since then. People just don't want to pay for their games. So to remain alive, the competitors go free to play. But they still need to pay for servers and developers and recoup their costs. So what do they do? They go free-to-play, but then to ensure that there's a reason for people to give them money, they go pay-to-win.
And people pay! That's the issue, people pay them. I think it turns out that the majority of players playing these games don't pay any money. Instead, some fraction of players (the whales) spend thousands of dollars to win. And it's these whales that the companies care about, not the gamers that just want a fun game to play.
It'd be nice to just blame the "whales" but - ultimately, it's not their fault. Because they're willing to crack open their wallet and pay for their entertainment. The problem is the huge number of gamers that aren't willing to shell out even $5 for a mobile game and instead go after the "free" games. Video game development still costs money, so publishers have to find some way to get money - so they go with pay to win.
Because that's where the money is. The market has spoken, and the market is us. Gamasutra was right, gamers really are dead.