That The Last of Us 2's biggest controversies were of """forced diversity""" (which is at best a value that the developers have always represented in the series, in the foreground since "Left Behind", and in the background since the original game) and a protagonist swap that people didn't like (something that was done in popular games back in 2001 and 2004) shows how little innovation or risk was actually taken by the game.
If anything, these controversies showcase how stupid a portion of the original fanbase was. Which isn't too particularly surprising with how much people put a thumb up their ass over a fairly barebones - if well executed - story.
And yea, I guess that casting as wide a net as possible only to alienate a portion later on with a sequel is somewhat "risky", but only in the sense that the original was so safe to begin with.
I look at TLOU2 the same way i look at The Last Jedi and the Rise of Skywalker. The new SW trilogy movies aren't innovative or risky in anyway and the direction it took with legacy characters and story plot took a massive nose dive compared to what the audience would have preferred or liked. I am a huge SW fan and i am quite vocal on the approach the new movies took. Its nice to add new characters weather they are male or female but to just slaughter old favorites just to push a motive is far from acceptable in my books, this is something i hated with the new SW films. They killed off majority of the old characters and pushed in the new characters without justifying the causes or at least showcasing the audience they actually cared about them. Example: They made Luke Skywalker a coward and killed him off, and it took a separate TV series to re-justify him.
I hear the same arguments with Joel, many TLOU fans liked him, he was a badass, yet was killed off so quickly and carelessly which was one of the major factors in the criticism by the public. Its not because Abby is a female, because the other main character Ellie is also a female that is a fan favorite, its the point of killing Joel and now we have to like the new character without a choice. The same thing happen with Halo 5, when everyone was forced to play Agent Locke instead of the chief, it wasn't because Locke was black, it was the fact that gamers wanted to play their hero and Locke hasn't done enough to earn his place just yet.
It really comes down to good timing. I agree some of the criticism based on TLOU2, SW and Halo 5 is quite ridicules however that's just fanboys using the negativity to their own egos, however we cannot let that blind us on the real issues with these games and movies.