The superfluity of publishing in the academic world has served to solidify the power and control of editors for the so-called "real" journals that matter when it comes to tenure and promotion. Follow the leaders, or challenge them very carefully in a prescribed, "acceptable" fashion.
Where it leads in the social sciences is cliques of like-minded "scholars" arguing about minutiae that is largely irrelevant to "science", and wholly irrelevant to the general public.
Not sure it hasn't always been this way. We all know that journals which only "publish" online might puff up a vitae, but as far as advancing one's career they aren't worth the electrons which they're made of.