|“|| Sabotage? Constantly. Bribery? Routine. Blackmail?
Common. Promotion by assassination? Always a possibility
— View From the Edge
Corporations are giant, multinational companies that dominate the Cyberpunk landscape. They can range from simple media corporations to worldwide security firms, the only thing you have to remember is that they will kill anyone that stands in their way.
In the world of Cyberpunk the corporations are one of the most prominent things in every day life. Much like the real world corporations of the 21st century they are worldwide conglomerates, that operate 24/7, buying, selling or providing services to many around the world. Unlike today's corporations their methods of operating are drastically different. The cut throat world of business has changed from your co-worker metaphorically stabbing you in the back to get ahead, to your co-worker actually stabbing you in the back to get ahead. Blackmail, extortion, bribery, kidnapping, espionage and assassination are all commonplace in today's white collar world. Small corporations typically act above the law, whereas the really successful corporations are the Law.
In the dark and dangerous world of Cyberpunk the Corporations operate more like small nations than they do companies. CEOs are more like monarchs, holding onto power for as long as they can, and using the company to do their bidding. Scandals are brushed aside and power grabs are swiftly dealt with a bullet. Junior members have to watch their backs constantly, with lower level employees just itching at a chance for their job, and higher level employees willing to hold onto theirs with lethal force.
The corporation power structure is typically set up so that CEO or president are at the top of the food chain. Underneath them is a sea of mid to high level executives, all vying for a chance to progress up the ladder. Junior execs are what you would call a yuppie with more money than sense, they typically run smaller projects such as extorting a smaller rival or corporate espionage. Above them are managers, who oversee a whole department. The major infighting in corporations begins here, with dirty tricks, nepotism and dishonesty being the primary factor in promotions to the next level. At this level you see VPs whose role mostly comprises of the day-to-day running of the company. Above them you have the Senior Management, your various C Designation officers, CEO, COO, CFO etc. Founders, owners, major stakeholders sometimes comprise this level of the company but they are more likely to be seen on the board of directors. These are the ones with the true power and they always travel with a heavy armed presence.
After the World Market Collapse of 1993, many corporations faced bankruptcy and folded. Many Large corporations that survived became even larger. In the case of the Arasaka Corporation, they didn't just survive the collapse, but they greatly benefited from it and was able to pick up the pieces of many smaller corps. The Post collapse United states became free-reign to the corporations. The Federal Government was not in a position to stop them, and local governments faced either bribes or corporate guns and as such in many cities, the corps were de facto in control. Entire police forces were outsourced to the corporations, puppet mayors and governors were voted into office and local laws were put in place to benefit the corps.Cities such as San Diego, Philadelphia, Belfast, Singapore, Hiroshima and Yokohama are policed by the Arasaka Corporation, they do not accept money for their fee, but rather influence and power in those cities. In the case of Night City, the entire city was funded by the Corporations, so they could have a piece of land they could call their own, and act with impunity.
Types of Corporations Edit
Mediacorps are giant conglomerates that control the airwaves across the world. Made up of thousands of news broadcasters, entertainment studios and publishers, they ensure that only the right news makes it on air. Many analysts suspect that some of the larger mediacorps have deep ties to governments around the world, and if they don't now, its only a matter of time before they do.
- Network News 54 - 24 Hour news service across the united states.
- World News Service - 24 Hour news service across the world.
Many Agricorps started as smaller family farms that may have owned a few acres of farmland, an unimpressive amount of livestock and machinery on the verge of collapse. After the world market collapse and the collapse of the United States many farms shut up shop, huge swaths of land became drought stricken and barren and the family farm was all but over. All this happened at a time when bulk grown crops were needed more than ever. Some of the larger farms survived the collapse and managed to buy up a lot of fertile land. By 2020 65% of farmland in the US was owned by the corporations, many of which producing CHOOH2, the Biofuel of the future.
- Petrochem - Formerly Parker Petrochemicals, they are the largest producer of CHOOH2
- SovOil - Soviet Oil giant, they have a license to produce CHOOH2, though their product is inferior to Petrochem.
Manufacturing corporations were probably least affected by the collapse. As long as capitalism exists, the manufacturing industry will be fine. Manufacturing corporations in the Cyberpunk world can range from vehicles, to weapons even to children's toys. The Security giant, Arasaka, started out in heavy manufacturing in the late 1800s, even in 2020 they have kept their manufacturing operations and secretly own many other small companies.
- Militech - Military industrial arms giant. Formerly Armatech-Luccessi.
- Arasaka - Started in manufacturing and is one of their three pillars in 2020.
- EBM - Euro Business Machines, a computer hardware manufacturer.
- IEC - International Electric Corporation, manufacturers a wide range of smaller components, such as engines, hardware, computer chips, which it supplies to other companies.
In the world of Cyberpunk almost everything revolves around a computer of some sort. With the availability of more advanced technology as well as the emergence of the Net, tech corporations have cemented their place in modern society. The famed hacker Rache Bartmoss, published two catalogues of software and hardware for use in the Cyberpunk world.
- Zetatech - Silicon Valley Wetware and software development corporation.
- Microtech - Industry standard in workstation and mainframe computers.
- IEC - Worlds largest cybernetics developer.
Much like the world of computing, Science is at the forefront of the Cyberpunk world, producing and developing everything from bioware, cybernetics and human clones to crops and bio-fuels.
- Biotechnica - Developed CHOOH2, but licensed it out as it did not have the capabilities to produce it.
Armed Forces Edit
In the dangerous world of Cyberpunk crime is widespread, the modern police force ineffective and security companies are as lethal and as well organized as a nations army. Gone are the days of the rent-a-cop, who patrols a mall on the prowl for some underage punks, now the security team is a cohesive unit, deploying a small arsenal and willing to shoot first and ask questions later. Mercenary outfits have become far more widespread, with many well funded and headed by respected war veterans
- Arasaka - World leader in security, they are easily distinguishable by their black uniforms.
- Militech - Military industrial manufacturer that also deals in military contracting
- Lazarus - Mercenary contractors lead by South American war veterans.
In the world of Cyberpunk there are many corporations that will work for you, the customer, rather than manufacturing or developing new products, these corporations are in business to serve.
- Trauma Team International - Specialized paramedics that will kill anything in their way to assist their injured client.
- R.E.O. Meatwagon - Trauma Team competitor that deals primarily in corpses, rather than assisting the living.
- Orbital Air - Commercial space transport.
- Infocomp - Information broker that uses the best private detectives to dig up dirt for a client.
- Merrill, Asukaga & Finch - Investment firm.
The Corporate Wars Edit
In the world of Cyberpunk, corporations act with near impunity. Espionage and trade secrets are still a threat to the corporations, however criminal behavior is more likely to be used to carry it out. Anything from blackmail, extortion and kidnapping is used, however in more recent years it has resulted in large scale armed conflict.
There have been many wars between the corporations typically on a smaller scale and dealt with swiftly. However there have been four major conflicts, known as the corporate wars, that have shaken the whole world.
First Corporate War Edit
- Main article: First Corporate War
The first corporate war was fought over failing corporation Transworld Air, who in late 2004 refused a buyout by EBM to accept an offer by Orbital Air. Outraged, EBM retaliated with a failed kidnapping, which resulted in the deaths of the Orbital/Transworld negotiation team. The two corporations battled it out with sporadic, small scale skirmishes. The resulting conflict lasted until early 2006 when the EBMs CEO surrendered after an assault on his compound.
Second Corporate War Edit
- Main article: Second Corporate War
The Second corporate war was fought between the two resource giants, Petrochem and SovOil. In 2008 the two corporations fought over oil fields in the south china sea, with Petrochem accusing SovOil of destroying one of their off shore oil rigs. Within weeks 75% of all offshore platforms on both sides of the conflict were destroyed, and offshore fires raged for weeks on end. The conflict moved from precision strikes on oil rigs to fierce short range warfare on the many various islands in the south china sea. After two years of fighting Petrochem retreated and abandoned the region.
Third Corporate War Edit
The Third Corporate War was fought almost entirely on The Net, and began in early 2016 after it was discovered that Merrill, Asukaga and Finch were planning to scam a Bank of New York subsidiary, The Rothstein Fund. Netrunners were hired on both sides to probe their respective date fortresses information regarding the scam. The conflict stepped up and both sides hired Solos to attempt to destroy each others Net infrastructure, this period of fighting only lasted a mere 12 hours. In late 2016 the war had ended with The Rothstein Fund defeated. However Merrill, Asukaga and Finch were billed for the damages done on both The Net and in the real world.
Fourth Corporate War Edit
- Main article: Fourth Corporate War
The Fourth Corporate war was the main feature of the two Stormfront Source/Adventure books. A Third book was planned however it was incorporated into Cyberpunk V3.0. The events of the Fourth Corporate war are unclear, as creator Mike Pondsmith has stated that certain events have been retired and disregarded. The Conflict took place between giants Arasaka and Militech.
PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk. 1st ed. Berkely CA; R.Talsorian Games, 1988
PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020. 2nd ed. Berkely CA; R.Talsorian Games, 1990
MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1991
MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020 Volume 2. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1992
MOSS, W. Corporation Report 2020 Volume 3. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1992
FISK, C. Solo of Fortune. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1989
SEVILE, A. Firestorm: Stormfront. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1997