Games News

Chicago imposes an amusement tax on PlayStation 4 players

Sony
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PSN Store

City of Chicago has imposed a 9% tax for any PlayStation 4 users, prompting Sony to warn players some services will be more expensive in the future. The tax law in question only applies Chicago, but there is no telling how far it can spread

City of Chicago's Amusement Tax will kick in on 14 November 2018, and Sony will, therefore, charge nine per cent more on some of their services. These are all subscription services, such as PlayStation Now, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Music, etc. You can see the full list of services affected by the tax in this tweet.

Thankfully, the bulk of what users normally spend, which is game purchasing, will not be taxed. The games will keep their regular prices, so PlayStation 4 users will not have to pay more for them than an Xbox or a PC user would.

Gamers in Chicago are unhappy with the idea, and gamers around the world didn't spare words when criticising the nature of this particular tax. One Redditor pointed out that the tax wording is somewhat vague, allowing it to be applicable to virtually anything, going as far as classifying weightlifting as amusement. 

Another one pointed out that the tax has been around for years and is not looked upon favourably, as its wording has recently been slightly altered in order to include online services. Considering there is no way to get a rebate on the tax at the moment, this puts consumers in an even more uncomfortable position.

While this tax is only an inconvenience for Chicago-based PlayStation 4 users, it should worry every gamer, on every platform, anywhere in the world. If Chicago can impose this tax on PlayStation 4 online services, any other city or state in the world can do so for any online service in the future.

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Right now it's just online services, but further taxes could be applied or raised on even purchasing video games. It's just a suspicion at the moment, but with the amount of money flowing through the gaming industry these days, it's not excluded we could games becoming more expensive in the future.

In fact, with Microsoft's latest push to make video games a streaming service, it's nearly inevitable that the games will actually become more expensive. PlayStation Now is just the first example.