GAME PUBLISHER Ubisoft has been given a $263 million sweetener to set up shop in Toronto.
The move is supposed to create 800 jobs and offset some of the losses in the province's manufacturing sector.
The 10-year deal means Ubisoft will establish a major video game studio in the city and itself invest more than $500 million in the operation, set to open before the end of the year.
Government money is coming in the form of a huge tax-credit and is part of the province's plan to attract tech-based, creative industries to offset the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs.
Canada's auto and auto parts sectors are in deep trouble and laying off hundreds of thousands of workers thanks to the shift towards more fuel efficient cars and the ongoing economic meltdown.
Ottawa, Ontario and Washington have forked out billions of dollars to keep the companies afloat and avoid what all three governments say would be a catastrophic loss of jobs. However the region knows its only hope is to diversify its economy into more creative industries.
The government said that investment in Ubisoft, which made $1.7 billion last year, was needed as there was stiff competition to land the studio. Ontario will make the money back through jobs created, tax revenues and spinoffs such as the return of talented workers.
Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, has created popular games such as Tom Clancy's "Rainbow Six" and "Prince of Persia." µ