That's a real bad thing, but what seems to be giving retailers a dose of the runs is that several of this year's blockbusters have failed to ignite as the mega-sellers that they'd been expecting.
Though, understandably, the publishers are being cagey about releasing accurate figures, rumours are swirling around Halo 5, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and Rise of the Tomb Raider that they've all underwhelmed.
Indeed, Sony even came out gloating about the latter, with a snide tweet from its senior product manager laughing at the "poor" game's 63,000 first weekend sales, and cocking a snook at its 12 month window of console exclusivity.
Admittedly, Rise does indeed appear to have been hobbled by being an Xbox One exclusive - something which might give other companies pause before entering into similarly compromising clinches with Microsoft - but what do all of the above games have in common? Firstly, they're all sequels. Secondly - and importantly - there isn't a whole lot originality going on with any of them.
Could it be that gamers are getting bored?
Let's lick the facts, guy.
Halo 5 is the most tepid, lazy instalment of the series to date, the gaming equivalent of a playing card sandwich. Assassin's Creed Syndicate is basically Assassin's Creed Unity, but with all the characters breaking intermittently into the Lambeth Walk. Rise of the Tomb Raider is essentially the first Tomb Raider reboot - a mix of Far Cry and Uncharted - but featuring a character who now has all the charisma of a phlegmy sigh.
And a new Call of Duty has been a pre-Christmas tradition for years, as reliable and predictable as news reports about Nestle shrinking the size of the Quality Street tins.
Fallout 4 and FIFA 16 appear to be the sole glimmers of optimism for games sales, with others pinning their septums on Rainbow 6 Siege and Just Cause 3. Why? Just 'cause!
Arguably, none of the games mentioned above are out and out catastrophes or broken beyond repair... they're the very definition of 72% games... but I entered into all of them feeling that I'd seen it all before.
There was nothing in Halo 5 that really stood out from all the other Halos, Assassin's Creed is another Assassin's Creed set in a grimy city, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 had the misfortune of coming on the heels of last year's Advanced Warfare, staged in a similar post-apocalyptic battlefield full of exo-suited soldiers.
And Rise of the Tomb Raider is basically another one of those open world games where you forage for stuff. Much as I love The Great Outdoors, I'm sick of forests and mountains now. And I'm so sick of looting crates, corpses and copses that I was literally just sick - and I hate being sick.
Gaming is playing it safe, and getting stale as a result. The industry hasn't smelled this musty since that time E3 was held in your grandfather's attic.
An injection of originality is fast needed twixt its toes, because my fear is that if this path continues, it's going to result in still lower sales, and - perversely - developers and publishers playing it even safer, rather than take much-needed creative risks.
Admittedly, I hold out some hope. Next year's No Man's Sky promises to be quite unlike anything else (the risk of that project being somewhat offset by its relatively tiny development team), while Far Cry Primal - yes, I know it's another Far Cry game - at least takes guns out of the equation.
The need to play things safe, and trade on tried and tested formulas and brands, only works for so long before people have their fill. You might have a favourite burger, but how many of them can be stuffed down your wretched throat before you beg your mother to stop pushing them into your mouth?
With annual instalments now coming from several of those big brands, and other games clambering aboard the open world map-mopper bandwagon (Far Cry 4, Witcher III, Mad Max, Syndicate, have all followed the woefully familiar formula), it's time to look at the broader potential of video games, rather than what has worked up until now.
Aside from anything else, all of the games mentioned here are enormous, swallowing months of your time if you can be bothered doing the same sorts of things over and over again. I'm all for VFM, but could that also be contributing to the sales wobble? Are we all spending so long playing one or two games that there's no time before the next one comes along - especially if the next one is more or less the same sort of thing as the last one?
Answers on a brown postcard.