|“|| 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, corporations are one of the most prominent things in everyday 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. Corporations, and those within them, aim to get ahead by any means necessary. "Cutthroat" business culture is no longer a metaphor, as blackmail, extortion, bribery, kidnapping, espionage, and assassination have all become commonplace in the white-collar world. Small corporations typically act above the law, whereas 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 the CEO or president is 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 much smaller corps. The Post collapse United states became free-reign for the corporations. The Federal Government was not in a position to stop them, as such the burden of chaos fell onto regional and municipal governments as they encountered a new wave of capitalist violence and extortion in the form of corporate bribes, further corruption of government officials and, corporate militias warring in the streets, along with drastic spikes in organized crime and gang membership, widespread impoverishment and unemployment, and in the USA and UK's case massive loss of revenue due to most citizens becoming nomads or just not declaring a SIN. As such many cities and metropolises were turned into de facto "special economic zones" where corporations were exempt from taxes, regulations, and sometimes even the law itself, the Corpo's gradually began co-opting local governments. 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, subsequent mass privatization of what was public enterprise within these cities began an many were powerless to stop it.
Types of Corporations
"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 know, 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.
- Diverse Media Systems - 24 Hour news service across the United States.
- Nippon Network - 24 Hour news service across Japan.
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 "AgriCorps" set 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 lands. 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.
- ConAg - Based in Kansas City, USA. ConAg is an agriculture corp that transports wheat, grain, feed, and so much more food. It could also be synthetic food sold for cheaper.
- Akaromi BioCorp - A large agriculture corp that exports mostly synthetic foods and rice.
"ManuCorps" were least affected by the collapse. As long as capitalism exists, the manufacturing industry will be fine. "ManuCorp" products can range from aerodynes, vehicles, weapons & armaments, to children's toys, computers, VR & AR, cybernetics, robots and many more. 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, manufactures a wide range of smaller components, such as engines, hardware, computer chips, which it supplies to other companies.
- Mitsubishi-Sugo - Manufactures Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, and ACPA"s
- Mitsuzuki - Manufactures Cars and Cycles.
- Kundalini - Manufactures Cars and Cycles.
- Takaya - Manufactures Vehicles of all kind.
- Toyota - A Mega Corporation Manufacture specializing in Cars.
- Honda - A Mega Corporation Manufacture specializing in Cars, Cycles, Armored Vehicles, and AVs.
- Sugo Manufacturing - A weapons manufacture that merged with Mitsubishi to form another division of weapons manufacturing.
- Tsunami Arms - A weapons manufacture that operates only in Japan, and provides only to the Japanese National Police Agency and the Japanese Army.
"CyberCorps" are necessary for modern life in the world of cyberpunk, as 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 catalogs of software and hardware for use in the Cyberpunk world.
- Zetatech - Silicon Valley Wetware and software development.
- Microtech - Industry standard in workstation and mainframe computers.
- IEC - World's largest cybernetics developer.
- Akari Heavy Industries - Japanese software developer and large corporate investor of smaller corps.
- Euro Business Machines - A Mega Corporation that generalizes in the manufacture of computer products, information technology, and electronics.
Much like the world of computing, augmentation be they mechanical or biological is at the forefront of the Cyberpunk world and the corporations that help develop this field are known as "BioCorps", producing and developing everything from Bioware, Cyberware, Nanotech and Biosculpting technologies to GMO crops, biofuels, cultured cells, and test-tube organs & tissues.
- Biotechnica - This Biocorp specializes in genetically modifying crops, more specifically grains and has developed a patent on a new species of GMO wheat known as V. Megasuavis, the key ingredient in the production of CHOOH2 the supposed "fuel of the future". Biotechnica's facilities, however, lack the capabilities for mass production of CHOOH2 profitably, as such, they have an arrangement with a number of AgriCorps in which they allow them to buy the right to cultivate V. Megasuavis and sell CHOOH2 but only for a limited time.
- IEC - World's largest cybernetics developer.
- Dakai Soundsytems - A well-known developer of Cyberaudio technologies.
- Cyphire Cyberware - Another developer of Cyberaudio tech and a collaborator with Dakai Soundsystems.
- Dynalar Technologies - Cyberware technology
- Asahi Rem Tech - Cyberware technology
- Raven Microcybernetics - Cyberware technology
- Bakumatsu Chipmasters - Cyberware technology
- Akagi Systems Incorporated - Cyberware technology
- Adrek Robotics - Cyberware technology
- Kenjiri Technology - Cyberware technology
"ArmaCorps" thrive in the extremely dangerous world of Cyberpunk, crime is rampant the modern police forces are ineffective and security companies are as lethal and as well organized as a nation's army. Gone are the days of the rent-a-cop, who patrols a mall on the prowl for some underage punks, now a 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 - A world-leading Armacorp specializing in police contracting, personal & corporate security, and security consultancy services, not to mention the scope of their investments in military-industrial manufacturing, along with their in-house accounting division. They are also easily distinguishable from their contemporaries via their black-clad uniforms and telltale logo.
- Militech - An Armacorp specializing in military armaments and equipment manufacturing that also deals in paramilitary & police contracting.
- Lazarus - An Armacorp specializing in paramilitary contracting, and is staffed by Central American Conflict veterans and personnel.
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.
- WorldSat Communications Network -
- RSVP - Specialized bodyguards originating from France.
Money means everything in the world of Cyberpunk. Banks have in increased in a large variety, promising to protect the money of their climates. Often times these banks will have private armies or hired on security services from other corporations.
- EuroBank - The European Bank is the basis for most daily financial transactions worldwide
- Fujiwara - Fujiwara is one of the bigwigs in the financial world. This is a main bank, one of the characteristics of a Japanese corporate group.
- Meiji Sumitomo - Meji Sumitomo is a large bank firm that operates primarily in Asia.
The Corporate Wars
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
- 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
- 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 offshore 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
- Main article: Third Corporate War
Fourth Corporate War
- Main article: Fourth Corporate War
The Fourth Corporate war was the main feature of the two Firestorm 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