Actually, that's part of it. In Goldeneye, M rants at Bond that he's a sexist, misogynistic Cold War relic (pretty sure that's word-for-word), also Moneypenny tells Bond hitting on her could be "sexual harassment". I get that it was the 90's and they had to acknowledge work place harassment but they might as well have said, "why are we still making Bond movies?"
There's also the fact Goldeneye and TND are "high-octane" 90's action movies and the zany, surreal aspects of the Bond franchise are replaced with over-the-top, humorless violence. A woman who creams her panties while gunning down people; a macho, Germanic dude threatening to dismember him for 52 hours straight... Octopussy had a guy with a ####ing yo-yo saw blade and that was only 14 years earlier. When the movies take themselves too seriously, the womanizing isn't as cute.
Anyway, that's about as good as I can make the point without rewatching a lot of the older movies and yeah, the Timothy Dalton Bonds probably started the process.