Gamers blasting GST

17:55, Feb 17 2014

Most  computer games are being bought online and free of GST, rather than in shops, according to an industry body.

A study commissioned by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) found New Zealanders spent 8 per cent less on computer games consoles and boxed games last year, as they switched their spending online.

Kiwi gamers spent $162 million on computer game downloads, subscriptions and in-game purchases and only $133m on consoles, peripherals and boxed games, according to the study.

IGEA New Zealand director Mark Goodacre said most online purchases would be from overseas and free of GST.

Goodacre did not believe computer games shops were yet in danger of going the same way as bookshops and video rental outlets. Instead, he forecast the value of the console and boxed-software market would rise on the back of the launch of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One late last year.

"Traditionally, the years after new console launches are very exciting."

Kiwis spent $96m on games for mobiles, $36m on downloadable computer games and $22m subscribing to multiplayer online games.