Yep most gamers are afraid to take the road less travelled. And it's understandable considering that games cost $60 a pop and they'd be lucky to get half of that back if they trade it in to GameStop (yes there's eBay but most gamers don't sell games on eBay.) They see the same old franchises and the hyped up games that everyone is talking about as safer bets.
Also gaming is a very social thing right now. Gamers are generally influenced by their friends as to what games they pick out. When guys ask me, "what games are you playing now?" and I'm like (an example) "I'm playing DeathSmiles at the moment, it's a shoot em up for the Xbox 360" they just look at you with this really confused look on their face. And it's like that almost every time I mention some niche game. I do try to give the more mainstream games a fair shake because it kinda sucks when you talk games with guys and you can barely contribute to the conversation (so I'll rent the odd popular game here and there to stay "in the loop". I'll play it some. If I like it, I continue. If I don't, I send it back in the mail. Not a big deal.). But I wish they, the mainstream gamer, would give the niche stuff a fair shake themselves. It's good to keep an open mind. I remember when I used to play almost nothing but Japanese RPGs back in my teen years. I just assumed that the other stuff wasn't worth my time. But then I kept an open mind, tried the other stuff and found that playing nothing but jrpgs is pretty boring compared to playing a diverse variety of games.