I don't think they're dead at all, but there's been a significant shift in how consumers play them as well as the different pricing models and platforms. I'm my experience, players have more options to play, but less time. Those who have the time to play tend to develop cyclical habits, I.E. binging post-patch then retiring to less involved activities like mobas etc. While I tend to stick to one MMO at a time, I spend alot of time with mobile MMOs as well. I'm sure many fans of the genre have similar habits.
I've found that over the last decade or so of MMOs, players have suffered from WoW-killer exhaustion. The expectation of the next big thing, only to be constantly disappointed. Generally, this tends to manifest as a belief that the genre as a whole is dead. So I get where you're coming from. I think that even the most blantant knockoff has some redeeming creative asset, it's just a matter of finding what you enjoy playing. I think the root of the problem is that gamers are exhausted with a generic style of play. Eventually they seek out new experiences but then, in an act of self sabotage: obsess about why the new game isn't as similar to the old game. So, instead of embracing actual change they might enjoy, they ultimately return to the games they're comfortable with (even though they remain bored), but actual engagement and enthusiasm remains low.
It doesn't help that with more conveniences in the genre (raid finders, instant travel, etc.) has diluted communities formed out of necessity into much looser associations. The lack of this social imperative has also weakened one of the stronger bonds people have to these games.