Brazilian pays up to 70% tax on imported video games, says Sony

When buying a console that is not made in Brazil, the consumer pays 60% to 70% of the amount in taxes, according to Glauco Rozner, director general of PlayStation in the country. In the case of the PS3, for example, of the R $ 1,400 charged officially for it, almost R $ 1,000 is equivalent to taxes.

The Sony executive spoke today with Digital Look about the plans around the national manufacture – or not – of its products. This Thursday, the 18th, the company obtained with the Superintendency of the Manaus Free Trade Zone the approval of a project that foresees investments of R $ 100 million in the country.

The document came to be considered by the media as definitive proof that the PlayStation would start to be manufactured here, which could reduce its cost. The company confirmed the interest, but did not disclose concrete forecasts. According to Rozner, the amount approved this week will be used in research that evaluates the national scenario and supports future strategic decisions.

The expectation about the nationalization of the PS has been around the market for years and Sony attributes the delayed bureaucracy and high tax burden. “We always study ways to reduce. We want to make it feasible, but that demands situations ”, says Rozner.

Mark Stanley, director general of PlayStation for Latin America, agrees with the executive. During the Brasil Game Show, held last week in So Paulo, Stanley made harsh criticisms of Brazilian tax obstacles, considered “abusive”. “There is an army of lawyers fighting for more things in the Brazilian PS Store,” he said. “A game that takes a while to finish”.

Among the major manufacturers, only Microsoft transferred the production of its console, the Xbox 360, to Brazil. The strategy has been successful, at least according to a recent study conducted by consultancy GFK. The video game was evaluated with a 65% market share, a domain linked to the drop in price of the device, which went from R $ 1.3 thousand to R $ 800, a reduction of 40%.

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Sony is not the only one to complain about the difficulties imposed by the Brazilian government. According to the director general of the game producer Ubisoft, Bertrand Chaverot, the sector suffers more from taxation than from piracy.

“Piracy is an obstacle, but first I need to fight taxes. With fair prices and Portuguese games, it is possible to combat this problem ”, he told the Digital Look during the Brasil Game Show. According to him, the manufacture of games also fits in the load above 60%.

Despite this, the gaming market grows dramatically in Brazil and the fourth largest in the world. Data from the Pricewatherhouse Coopers consultancy estimate that in 2016 the sector will turn over R $ 4 billion, largely due to the growth of the middle class.

The increase in demand stimulated Ibope to conduct the Games Pop survey, carried out to understand the habits of gamers, published at the beginning of this month. 23% of the participants. The third place in the ranking was occupied by racing.

Another relevant fact that Brazilians prefer consoles as a platform for games, used by 67% of respondents. Following are computers and notebooks, used by 42%.

The survey also points out that cell phones and smartphones have a captive place for games, with 16% of preference, which puts the platform in front of even portable consoles, used only by 7% of respondents.

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