What else could explain this? Paranormal Activity succeeded despite the studio system. It was shot as an indy, got enough attention to get a couple of million to reshoot the film with more resources (because that always works out for the better), then the original version was released into theaters when it turned out better than the more expensive reshoot did.
And then it made roughly a gazillion dollars for a monolihtic studio living in a system that did its best to make sure that films like Paranormal would never see the light of day.
So what does Paramount decide to do? Did they learn any lessons from that? No, they hired a new director and a new writer to do a sequel, leaving the creative force and vision behind the original mostly out of the picture as a producer.
Oren Peli has other things on his plate (Area 51 movie!), and I understand that, but movies are not legos. You can't take the original director and writer out and just drop in two other guys who have totally different visions of what the sequel should be from each other, not to mention different from Peli. And they'll undoubtedly eat up $10-20 million to make it instead of going cheap like the first film did. Although I'm sure Peli would have liked to have more money to make his movie, it obviously wasn't necessary since he didn't have much money and still made a sleeper hit anyway.
In short, Paramount learned absolutely nothing. They'll still give all the opportunities to established players who don't need a break -- like they are doing right now -- and they won't respect unique creative vision. And they'll be the ones who suffer for it.