Why are female characters often swapped in instead of created?

Anonymous
Basically what it means is lately it seems like all mass media forms, be it movies, tv shows, videogames... in an effort to make content more diverse are shamelessly swapping iconic male character with new female ones adding no value to their story and universe and only feeding a certain group but my question is why? And how is it acceptable by feminists themselves?

First off this like saying a franchise can't be built around a woman but instead we need a franchise with an established fanbase to embrace a woman as the lead.
Movies like james bond, video games like Gears of War and many more already have their hardcore fans and are being told "well you can forget about your favorite hero now you gotta love a new one because it's a woman"

And that leads to my second argument as to why it's a bad idea.
For some reasons productions seem to be under the illusion that they can poach a new set of customers without losing the old one but it doesn't take a marketing genius to tell that it's a bad idea on all fronts.
The vast majority of videogame players are men and especially when it comes to violent shooter games like gears of war. Swapping fan favorite heros who were men for a woman who's also less appealing seems like a sure way to alienate most of that audience and just "maybe" land a few new female customers.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against women lead characters and in fact want to see more but I find that for them to truly be everlasting they need their own stories, their own games, movies, shows... No one would ever consider swapping Lara Croft for a guy because Tomb Raider was built around her. Same can be said for many other instances and characters. So why not create more original content featuring women instead of having them replace men in existing ones?
Why are female characters often swapped in instead of created?
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