Common. Promotion by assassination? Always a possibility
The Corporations (Megacorporations or MegaCorps) are giant, transnational companies which dominate the Cyberpunk world. 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. The corps in this world are often seen as sovereign nations of themselves, and use their power to change the world around them.
In the world of Cyberpunk, corporations are one of the most prominent entities 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. This took the form of corporate bribes, 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 case of the USA and UK, 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, with the corpos 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. Night City was entirely funded by the corporations, in order for them to have a piece of land they could call their own, and act in with impunity. Subsequent mass privatization of what was once public enterprise within these cities began, and most were powerless to stop it. A place like Night City is largely under control of Arasaka, as they used it to their own advantage. The corporations thirst for power, resources, and capital did not stop at simple special ops tactics carried out by covert operatives. The corporations would would fund a full scale wars against each other in order to achieve their goals and ambitious.
The development of new technologies and world events during the 90s also made the post-Crash period a key time for new companies to develop. Venture capital was scarce in the wake of economic upheaval, but there were still enough investors around who had survived the collapse, and even played it to their advantage, to pump funds into a few promising, infant industries such as cybertechnology, biotech, independent military contracting and technology, artificial intelligence, net-tech, and so on. The general economic confusion of the years from 1994 to 2016 was increased as these new companies attempted to establish footholds to stake their claims in the new order.
Database Entry (2077)
In the latter half of the 21st century, corporations are international financial behemoths – megacorporations. They have their own political aims, even waging more or less open conflicts against the competition. It's no exaggeration to say that corporations are what shapes the reality and life of an ordinary person. Just take a look around. Every object in your home came off some production line in a factory belonging to one of the megacorps. Another one delivers electricity to your home, so you can watch TV news on a media conglomerate's channel, which in turn has corporations as a majority of its shareholders. Everything you drink, even to a certain extent the air you breathe – it all comes from global concerns. Even if you're blissfully unaware of this, the corporations still influence every aspect of your life. They're at your fingertips. Ah – those fingers are chrome? What manufacturer? Exactly.
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||NUSA||NN54 is a 24 hour news service across the US, which gained control of several smaller cable networks and pioneered the small-scale development of several new broadcasting and production technologies.|
|Nippon Network||Japan||NN is a 24 hour news service across Japan, with multiple media subsidiaries which it acquired by buying out bankrupt entertainment studios.|
|Diverse Media Systems||NUSA||DMS is a 24 Hour news service that is the second largest in the US, just behind NN54. DMS was involved in a joint venture to create and distribute the first Braindances.|
|World News Service||UK||WNS is a London-based news service that operates worldwide. WNS keeps tabs on the world, by any means possible. Newspapers and news stations around the world pay large amounts of money to receive WNS stories via the WorldSat Network.|
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.
|Akaromi BioCorp||Japan||Akaromi is a large agriculture corp which exports mostly synthetic foods and rice. A majority of its business is held in Japan, supplying food in the forms of fish, rice, and various rare meats.|
|ConAg||NUSA||Consolidated Agriculture has been supplying the world with quality products of food for many years after the Collapse.|
|Petrochem||NUSA||Petrochem, formerly Parker Petrochemicals, is are the largest producer of CHOOH2 in the US. They are also responsible for manufacturing many agricultural products.|
|SovOil||Russia||Soviet World Oil Industries is one of 15 manufacturers around the world that have a license to produce CHOOH2, though their product is inferior to others. Being the richest company in the Soviet Union allows SovOil to use its economic power to manipulate and ultimately control the Soviet government.|
"ManuCorps" were least affected by the collapse. As long as capitalism exists, the manufacturing industry will be fine. ManuCorp products can range from 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 retained their manufacturing operations, and secretly own many other small companies.
|Arasaka||Japan||Arasaka originally started in manufacturing, and it remains one of their three major pillars in business. Their weapons and equipment are some of the most sought after in the world. They are the largest manufacturer and exporter of Japanese made products and cyberware in the world. Their major exports are in the US, Europe, and Asia.|
|EBM||Germany||Euro Business Machines, a computer hardware manufacturer and one of the largest employers in the world. Computers and electronics are their specialty.|
|IEC||Germany||International Electric Corporation, manufactures a wide range of smaller components, such as engines, hardware, computer chips, which it supplies to other companies. Deals a lot in space facilities.|
|Kang Tao||China||Kang Tao went from a small failing company, to a massive corporation within 20 years, partly due to constant funding by the Chineese government. By 2077, Kang Tao is now competing with the top dog industry giants, such as Arasaka and Tsunami.|
|Militech||NUSA||Militech, formerly Armatech-Luccessi, is a military-industrial arms giant. Commonly known as the largest weapons manufacturer in the world.|
|Mitsubishi-Sugo||Japan||A subsidiary of Mitsubishi, this merger between two corporate vehicle manufacturers mainly deals with the JSDF. The vehicles they manufacture include tanks, armomred vehicles, and ACPAs.|
|SegAtari||Japan||SegAtari, or Segotari, is a corporation which is leading in the gaming, robotic humanoids and weapons manufacturing markets around the world.|
|Tsunami Defense Systems||Japan||Tsunami is a top-tier weapons manufacturer based out of Osaka. Originally they only provided to the Japanese National Police Agency and the JSDF, now they export some of the best weapons in the world, highly sought after by many. It has rivaled Arasaka for decades. Tsunami in the present day continues to make model guns for solos of the future.|
"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.
|Akari Heavy Industries||Japan||Akari Heavy Industries is a software developer and large corporate investor of smaller corps. While most of their business comes from acquiring other corporation's assets through buying out bankrupt businesses, the production of software is their more widely known source of revenue.|
|Euro Business Machines||Germany||EBM generalizes in the manufacture of computer products, information technology, and electronics. Their software is very popular in the European Union.|
|IEC||Germany||IEC mostly deals in cyberware, however also has a subsidiary that focuses on software engineering.|
|Microtech||NUSA||Microtech is an industry standard in workstation and mainframe computers in the US.|
|Zetatech||NUSA||Zetatech was originally a small company from the Silicon Valley. Specializing in computer hardware, software, and wetware design, the company was among the main providers of neural processors, microchips, and robotics on the American market. In 2077 they also manufacture aerodyne gunships, as well as security, combat, and utility drones.|
Much like the world of computing, augmentation be they mechanical or biological is at the forefront of the Cyberpunk world, and the corporations which 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.
|Adrek Robotics||NUSA||Adrek Robotics and Arasaka are currently bitter rivals. Adrek deals in cyberware tech and has used money that it received from copyright infringement cases to fund its various projects.|
|Akagi Systems Incorporated||Japan||Akagi System Incorporated is a small corporation that manufactures cyberware in Asia. However their business is dying and they are risking bankruptcy.|
|Bakumatsu Chipmasters||Japan||Bakumatsu is a corporation that specializes in language cyberware chips which are sold in Japan. Many corporates utilize these chips when communicating in Asia.|
|Biotechnica||Italy||Biotechnica specializes in genetically modifying crops, more specifically grains. It 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".|
|Cyphire Cyberware||France||Cyphire is a subsidiary and another developer of Cyberaudio tech, and a collaborator with Dakai Soundsystems.|
|Dakai Soundsystems||Japan||Dakai is a well-known developer of Cyberaudio technologies for the music industry. Many artist will utilize their products to gain credibility in the industry.|
|Dynalar Technologies||NUSA||Dynalar is a well-known cyberware manufacture in the US.|
|IEC||Germany||IEC is the world's largest cybernetics developer.|
|Kenjiri Technology||Japan||Kenjiri deals with a lot of technological devices that are sold in Japan. More noteworthy was its merger with Kiroshi.|
|Kiroshi Optics||Japan||Kiroshi is an industry leader in optics design and manufacturing, and holds a monopoly on the cyber optics market. Kiroshi deals worldwide and a majority of people utilizing optics are using their products. They're a producer of high quality cyberoptic implants and scanners, but the company is also heavily invested in orbital programs across Asia and the Americas.|
|Raven Microcybernetics||Night City||Raven was founded in Night City, and deals in Cyberware technology.|
"ArmaCorps" thrive in the extremely dangerous world of Cyberpunk. Crime is rampant, modern law enforcement are ineffective and security companies are as lethal and 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||Japan||Arasaka is the 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 and their in-house accounting division. They are also easily distinguishable from their contemporaries via their black-clad uniforms and telltale logo. Arasaka is one of the most influential corporations on the planet and holds significant amounts of control over many governments.|
|Lazarus||NUSA||Lazarus Group specializes in paramilitary contracting, and is staffed by Central American Conflict veterans and personnel. A versatile mercenary force, they provide soldiers and special agents-for-hire to people or organizations that do not have the resources, need or time to construct and maintain a full-time armed force of their own.|
|Militech||NUSA||Militech specializes in military armaments and equipment manufacturing, but also deals in paramilitary & police contracting. They're not as big as their competitors in this field, but their presence can be felt in NUSA territory. After being nationalized, many of Militech's members were incorporated into NUSA's Department of Defense.|
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.
|InfoComp||NUSA||InfoComp is an information broker which uses the best private detectives to dig up dirt for a client.|
|Merrill, Asukaga, & Finch||NUSA||By 2077, this highly exclusive investment and financial counseling firm (founded and based in New York City) has rebranded itself simply as "Asukaga & Finch".|
|Orbital Air||Kenya||Orbital Air specializes in cargo and passenger transport to Earth's orbit. Orbital Air can be found on nearly every continent, with multiple space facilities in low orbit. Their spaceplanes are mostly manufactured and owned by them, however JAB and ESA manufacture their own and are used when travelling to their respective territories.|
|R.E.O. Meatwagon||USA||REO is a Trauma Team competitor that deals primarily in corpses, rather than assisting the living.|
|RSVP||France||RSVP are specially trained bodyguards that mainly operate in European countries.|
|Trauma Team International||NUSA||TTI is specialized paramedics company that will kill anything in their way to assist their injured client.|
|WorldSat Communications Network||France||WCN is corporation monopoly on large scale satellite communications based in Paris, France. It is one of the largest corporations Europe has to offer.|
Money means everything in the world of Cyberpunk. Banks have in increased in a large variety, promising to protect the money of their clients. Often times these banks will have private armies or hire on security services from other corporations.
|Arasaka||Japan||The Arasaka Bank is not widely visible to the public as it tends to deal exclusively with corporate and business accounts. The Arasaka Bank is often attributed to the success of the corp, and is one of its three major pillars. It handleS some personal accounts, including those of the Arasaka family and several wealthy businessmen, celebrities and politicians from around the world.|
|EuroBank||France||The European Bank is the basis for most daily financial transactions worldwide.|
|Fujiwara||Japan||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||Japan||Meji Sumitomo is a large bank firm that operates primarily in Asia.|
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, to kidnapping is used. In more recent years it has resulted in large scale armed conflict.
There have been many wars between the corporations, typically on a small scale and dealt with swiftly. However, there have been four major conflicts, known as the corporate wars, that have shaken the entire 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
Beginning in February, 2016 and ending on April 17th, the this conflict pitted the Rothstein Fund (a subsidiary of the bank of New York City) against Merrill, Asukaga, & Finch and Lazarus. It was fought primarily on the the Net.
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's combatants were Arasaka and Militech.
- A number of corporations are based on real ones, such as Porsche or Mitsubishi. These were more common in Cyberpunk 2013 and Cyberpunk 2020, but due to legal reasons, some were changed in Cyberpunk RED and are far less common in Cyberpunk 2077.
- The Unification War is considered by some scholars to be quasi-fifth corporate war, as is once again pitted Militech against their rival Arasaka, in open warfare.