I work in the industry and I can tell you that developers from the President down to the QA all play as much and more games with a critical eye towards "innovation" or whatever word you want to call it, than the average gamer.
We're making a sequel? Yep, we read all the reviews of the first version, all the forum posts, all the complaints and then we report on the feedback. Sometimes it's considered, other times (like the ridiculous thread above about JRPG's and FF) it's a complete waste of time. You know, tight schedules and budgetary problems might mean, damn we can't put in that new mechanic, or we spent X hours developing this new system but now it's breaking and it has become a liability. I mean there are a ton of constraints for any project from the engine level up to usability that are considered in any title that is a moderate success. I mean, if you are making a sequel that was green-lighted by a publisher you are ALREADY nearing the middle of your production cycle while the first one is on the shelves in a lot of cases. That also makes it difficult to add 'insert ZOMG awesome feature'. Sure, in a perfect world we would release the first version and wait until we got all of the data on it - was it good, was it successful, what was really, really bad, what will we avoid like the plague? Sure, but that's not how the industry likes to operate. I don't necessarily agree with it all the time but hey, that's life. Maybe it'll change, or maybe not- who knows. If anything, games are moving the same direction as big movies -- oligopolies and consolidation of the monster sized studios which control a majority of content. It ain't pretty and trust me, I at least, do not welcome it.
It's a numbers game, for every person who is going to LOVE a new feature there's going to be its detractors. You can't please everyone but you can still make a damn good game that a majority of people will enjoy. I mean, are there blatant examples of developers being out of touch? Hm, MAYBE. But because of the nature of this industry, if you're a developer and you somehow have creative control over a mechanic or a design for a game and you are slipping up that bad you WILL be weeded out and sent packing. . . eventually. The industry can't afford you/that!
I think you have made such a statement because you perceive the problem -- exhibit A = a horrendous game that ignores an obvious solution, but really what you will never know is that the lead designer was laid off in the middle of production and a new lead took over and because of the contract in place he had to make some tough decisions and re-write half of the mechanics in the game because "he" thought they were shitty and a couple people agreed (e.g. the Publisher). Shrug. Happens all the time.
Bad games get made for a ton of real, rational reasons. We don't always have a lot of time to play every single new game, I'll give you that, we are stupid busy. But, we know about them, we know people who made them (they're our friends), and we are always keeping an eye out on the Latest and the Greatest (tm).