Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the three giants of the video game console industry have made a surprise collaboration. On June 17, they penned a joint letter addressed to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The letter points out their concern about the newly proposed tariffs on goods manufactured in China. In the year 2018, Chinese factories manufactured almost 96 percent of all the video game consoles sold. This is obviously a huge concern for the three giants. This is the first time these companies have collaborated for something.
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are the developers of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch respectively. They pointed out in the letter how valuable the video game industry has been for the economy of the United States. For instance they pointed out that the three companies jointly employ over 8000 people in the United States. They also added that the video game industry generated over $43 billion in revenue in the year 2018.
In the letter, the three companies described how the newly proposed tariffs on goods from China would affect the them. Here’s a snippet from the letter:
“In a single year (2018), our three companies collectively sold more than 15 million video game consoles in the United States alone. Together, we currently employ nearly 8,000 people across the United States.”
Tariffs On Chinese Goods
The proposed tariffs, if implemented, would impose a new tax of 25% on all goods manufactured and imported from China. Several tech giants, including Apple, have already asked the government to reconsider this tariff. Most of these companies have factories in China, and so are heavily invested in importing from/manufacturing in the country. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are only the latest companies to join in on this ‘protest’.
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have written that the tariffs would affect more than just them. They believe it will cause a riffle effect across all of the gaming industry and even the tech industries.
“A significant number of the games played on Microsoft, Nintendo, and SIE video game consoles are not developed by our companies in-house.”
So how will the Trump administration respond? We will keep you updated.