Finder of things, Doer of stuff
As I already said, FMV got a supporting role, while at the core there was some solid gameplay (3D space flight-sim / real-time strategy). That's what they did right.
Yes, in hindsight it's pretty much obvious what went wrong, but not so much why it went wrong. When FMV was new, almost everyone in the games industry got crazy, thought "this is the future", several companies released FMV "games" almost totally devoid of any gameplay whatsover, and thought just having videos in it would make people love it. Did they really think people are that stupid? I'd find interesting what exactly motivated the "early CD craze" like that.
Yes, most of it may very well be "hindsight bias" - now we think it should have been obvious it wouldn't work that way, but back then nobody could have known. But I'm not sure. There were at least some game designers who were critical about it even back then, but it seems most of their colleaques didn't listen (or didn't want to listen).
Thinks like Silent Steel come to mind. It's like Taking all the spaceflight out of wing commander 4 and simply adding a more branching story based on dialogue choices.
The problem was that it just wasn't good enough to make people want to replay half the game just to figure out where the heck they went wrong and which choice exactly made them not find some stupid gizmo that made their submarine detectable.
The good thing was that the filming was at least a cut above most of the other terrible FMV crap out there (Did the article mention that Johnny Mnemonic game? I don't remember).