In the gaming world of Dystopia 23 the Razors Edge there are 34 megacorporations spread throughout the world. Following is biographical information on a number of these powerful MegaCorps.
The Megacorporations of Dystopia 23
Narrated by Stee Lawlor
Corporate Headquarters: Asgard
Director: Egill Sigurðr
Corporate Military: 600,000
Important Subsidiaries: Centra, CredZor, Hrothgar, MechaStorm Antiware, Norski Homewares, Viking Technologiesv Key Rivalries: Drake, Germana, Relic, Zyx
No MegaCorp has initiated more conflict nor been involved in as many corporate wars as BeoTec. The first of the Norse MegaCorps arose in 2075 shortly after the nation’s founding. Hrothgar was a giant that developed out of the conglomeration of Norsk Hydro, Total E&P Norge and Esso Norge. Viking Technologies was another Mega Corp which gained status in 2082 as a conglomeration of Ericsson, Volvo, Aker and NorgesGruppen. Viking considered itself to be the epitome of Norse archaic revivalist culture, a corporation which was built on vicious business practices echoing the peoples of its namesake. But a third rival was on the rise, BeoTec which had started life as a humble technologies company bought out several small information technology companies and gradually grew to the point where it was able to purchase Casio Computer. With several R&D breakthroughs in information technology BeoTec found itself with a flood of cash and proceeded to buy up numerous Norse companies along with Oki Electric Industry from Japan. A vicious rivalry developed between Viking and BeoTec which was now on the verge of becoming a MegaCorp. The Board of Directors were boasting that BeoTec was the Norse revivalist corporation of the future and Viking took exception to this. In 2085 Svenn Guðrunarson became the new CEO of BeoTec and began an aggressive plan of buying up Norse corporations. He borrowed money and made, what many consider to be, a lot of questionable deals in order to acquire the cash to purchase Statoil, Telenor, Nokia and Danske Bank. With the final purchase in 2088 BeoTec was declared a mega corporation by the Norse government. Guðrunarson immediately began to recruit an enormous military and focused a huge amount of the company’s profits to purchase armaments and war machines. In 2089 he initiated a program of covert attacks against Viking Technology’s facilities and personnel. Power plants, skyscrapers and factories were blown up and large numbers of people were killed. Viking caught wind of the plan and launched a number of counter strikes. This was all the ammunition that Guðrunarson needed, and BeoTec declared war on Viking Technologies. The conflict took place over the next two years and fundamentally tore the Norselands apart. BeoTec emerged the victor and subsumed Viking Technologies as a subsidiary. As the dust settled and peace began to return, Guðrunarson turned his attention to his remaining rival in the Norselands. Wanting full dominance of the country, at the end of 2091 BeoTec declared war on Hrothgar. Their soldiers fought with the vehement savagery of their Viking ancestors and after eighteen months of brutal fighting the forces of Hrothgar were unable to continue on and the MegaCorp was subsumed into BeoTec. The people of the Norselands were infuriated by the carnage that had been left in the wake of the two corporate wars, so BeoTec spent billions of neuros rebuilding the country, strengthening infrastructure and developing civic growth. By 2099 a new Board of Directors was in place under the leadership of Úlfr Sveinsson, but BeoTec could not keep out of trouble. The European Free States MegaCorp, Centra, had been muscling in on BeoTec’s market share in the agricultural industry and some nasty words had been exchanged in the media. Sveinsson coordinated a number of freelancer attacks against strategic points in the corporation and then manipulated the CEO of Centra into a situation where he could justify declaring war. BeoTec attacked Centra in a program of organised strikes across the world and then secured the support of the Eastern Coalition government to initiate an attack against Centra on their home soil. Zyx wanted in on the deal, hoping to doublecross BeoTec along the way and claim Centra for themselves, however Sveinsson saw this coming and managed to secure an agreement which excluded Zyx from participating. There has been a simmering feud between BeoTec and Zyx ever since. Ultimately by the summer of 2093 Centra had been all but wiped out and Sveinsson secured a deal to purchase what remained of the MegaCorp at an attractive price. In the years since, BeoTec has managed to ruffle many feathers among the ranks of the MegaCorps and has engaged in open conflicts with VorpCorp and Tsunami. Freelancers can often depend on a lot of sabotage work coming from this MegaCorp and BeoTec is considered an employer that you should cross at your own peril.
Corporate Headquarters: Beijing
Director: Zhan Pei Tan
Corporate Military: 500,000
Important Subsidiaries: BeYng Robotics, Dáo Corporate, Dragon Petroleum, ICBC, NuTex, WayGro, Wei Chu Hyper Factories
Key Rivalries: Artemis, Matsumishi, Shiva, Tsunami
Certain Chinese conglomerates and energy giants survived the economic crisis with very little backlash. While many of them were forced to lay off portions of their workforce, the core business itself never really came under threat. One such company was the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). It had so many overseas debtors that it became almost invulnerable during the crisis. After the initial wave was over around 2035 it began buying up international companies that were on the brink of collapse. At this time ICBC was able to purchase Ricoh from Japan, News Corp and Pfizer as well as some local concerns including PetroChina and China Mobile. By 2043 ICBC had so many subsidiaries that it needed to form a mother company under which all of these concerns would operate. Thus Dáo Consolidated was formed. During the late 2040s and early 2050s Dáo began a plan to dominate the banking, energy and petrochemical industries in Asia and further afield. Through often devious means they acquired the China Construction Bank, Bank of China, American Express, ExxonMobil and various small energy companies throughout south-east Asia. At the end of this expansion Dáo was the biggest and most powerful financial provider in the world. The Chinese government granted it Mega Corp status in 2058. During the next century Dáo would influence world finance and manipulate political deals more than any other Mega Corp. The continued expansion into petrochemicals and heavy industry resulted in Dáo becoming the largest polluter in Asia. Their vigourous growth and lack of environmental concern has garnered the opposition of many environmental groups. They manipulated the Chinese government into revoking carbon credits and they are thought to be responsible for the extinction of several species in China including the giant panda. All through this time Dáo placed enormous pressure upon Chinese news agencies to report them in a positive light. Any news corporations who refused to do so were quickly bought out. In the late 21st-century Dáo purchased several other large corporations at home and abroad including McDonald’s, Walgreen and China Life Insurance. The dominance of Dáo in mainland China is unquestionable, they tightly control finance, news media and exercise powerful influence over the government. During the late 21st-century while under the control of Shi Mao Kai, Dáo had strong communist leanings and backed the Communist Party who almost regained power in China. By this stage however the people were strongly westernised so the plan, despite some suspicious propagandising and voter manipulation, ultimately fell through. In the mid-22nd century while Dáo was under the leadership of Feng Shen Mao the manipulation of the news media bordered on the ridiculous. Rumours of child molestation, devil worship and plans to destroy all life on Earth were levelled at most of Dáo’s key rivals and for several decades much of the Chinese population were under the impression that Dáo was like a heroic world peacekeeping organisation that was out to end the injustices caused by other megacorporations. Ironically, Dáo placed the blame for their own environmental offenses on the shoulders of their rivals. Today, despite much of the same propaganda being in place, many Chinese citizens view Dáo with suspicion. Because Dáo seeks to monopolise Asia its key rivalries are with Tsunami, Shiva and Matsumishi. Their respective militaries are large, but infrequently used other than as a tool for posturing and threats. The current director, Zhan Pei Tan, comes from a long line of corporate executives and is rumoured to be ambitiously seeking to undermine the Chinese government in order to have heavy trade tariffs imposed upon foreign nations. It is also said that he had his predecessor assassinated in order to acquire the top job.
Corporate Headquarters: New Tokyo
Director: Shonui Aoki
Corporate Military: 300,000
Important Subsidiaries: Cosmic Imaginetrics, Hamaguri, OrigynZ, Subdural Microsystems, Syba Soul
Key Rivalries: Matsumishi, Shiva, Yakama
By 2046 the Sony Corporation was under threat. It had sustained a consistent loss of profits for almost a decade and began rapidly losing market share to the Matsumishi megacorporation who had a much stronger position to weather the economic crisis and increase branding, research and development, and establish new markets. The board of directors decided to take drastic action and began talks with the head of the Ito Foundation. Taka Ito was an award-winning entrepreneur who had established the Ito Foundation in 2026. His business practices were unorthodox and aggressive, and had enabled his company to flourish in the economic crisis. The Ito Foundation had made breakthroughs in energy technology which caused it to be the fastest-growing company in Japan next to Matsumishi. Sony executives approached Ito and an agreement was formed to combine the two companies and begin a process of aggressive growth with Ito as the chief executive. In 2047 Sony-Ito was incorporated and quickly acquired Nippon Steel and Sumitomo. Ito used incredibly clever, and some believe underhanded, tactics to acquire Mizuho Financial, Tokyo Electric Power and Japan Airlines. With its added financial power Sony-Ito was able to corner and wear down both Mitsubishi and Komatsu until they agreed to buy outs. From 2055 to 2061 Sony-Ito purchased a multitude of companies and factories throughout Asia and in 2062 Ito was able to add two jewels to its crown in one sweep. Toshiba and Rohm were both subsumed in agreements that saw very little money change hands on the condition that employees would retain tenure for a specified period of time. By this time the legend of Taka Ito had become so strong within the business world that a number of his Board of Directors pushed for a name change. Discussions dragged out for nine months but ultimately Ito’s protégé Roshi Fuzikama pushed it through and the mega-corporation was renamed Ito. 15 months later Taka Ito fell sick and was dead within a month. Employees were unsettled but Roshi Fuzikama took the helm and the corporation remained strong. Ito retains a large corporate military outside of Japan, predominantly in Indo Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. The corporation has a bad reputation for being ecologically inconsiderate and charges have been brought against them in the World Court on numerous occasions. Only a small number of these cases were won, but they were costly losses none the less and Ito has taken precautions and tightened security to make sure that their business practices are kept secret.
Corporate Headquarters: San Angeles
Director: Patrick Jenson
Corporate Military: 500,000
Important Subsidiaries: AgTec, Hershey Wilcox, Intergalactic Technologies, Kera Arms, Kera Holo Systems, Neural Systematics, Reminiscence
Key Rivalries: Artemis, AzTec, GenaTec
By the year 2055 several major American companies were in their last throes after being decimated by the Communist invasion of the United States. In a last ditch effort several competitors banded together for survival. Time Warner, Target, 3M and Eastman Kodak joined forces and immediately purchased several large construction companies so that they could benefit from the enormous need for rebuilding following the war. They formed initially under the name United Conglomerate Enterprises but in 2060 after they purchased Colgate-Palmolive who had dissolved due to massive factory losses from bomb damage, they changed their name to Kera. The corporation grew enormously off the back of the post-war renovations and in 2069 they were approached by eBay who wished to join forces. The newly formed Board of Directors was led by a business legend: Porter D. Oswald, who streamlined business processes throughout the organisation. Three years later however he died suddenly from a heart attack and was succeeded by a young, talented and highly ambitious entrepreneur by the name of Craig Tusk. Tusk was aggressive and ruthless and over the next 20 years he initiated the hostile takeovers of Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Kera had grown to be a gigantic force in the economy of New America and was granted megacorporation status in 2092. Tusk immediately began to accrue an enormous military force and aimed it directly at his rival Manny Hernandez the director of Hershey Wilcox. Hershey Wilcox was a megacorporation that had begun in 2068 and prospered throughout the post-war era. A war began between the two entities which made battle zones of Southern California and Northern Arizona. It raged for two years until a ceasefire was negotiated in the corporate court. Shortly after that however several Hershey Wilcox factories were blown up or burnt down in “freak” unexplained accidents. After only a four-month hiatus the war was back on, and it spread like wildfire into the streets of Los Angeles and Phoenix, the corporate HQs of Kera and Hershey Wilcox respectively. When both participants refused to cease aggressive operations on civilian territory the government sent in its own armed forces as a deterrent. It did not go that well, the New American military forces were overcome and driven back by the more experienced and merciless mercenaries of both MegaCorps. Negotiations began to bring the Artemis forces in to dissuade the two opponents, but while talks were under way a fatal blow was delivered when the entire Hershey Wilcox Board of Directors was assassinated in one night by a crew of freelancers. As the MegaCorp scrambled to pick up the pieces Tusk negotiated a deal with the mercenaries working for Hershey Wilcox, to stand down. They left the battlefields and the rest of their soldiers were wiped out or forced to retreat. With the sharp edge of the Kera military bearing down upon the Corpzone in Phoenix the management of Hershey Wilcox were forced to surrender. In 2095 Hershey Wilcox was subsumed into Kera who were then forced to contribute €20 billion towards the rebuilding of Phoenix and Los Angeles after the devastation they had inflicted. Kera emerged from the conflict in a strong position after claiming the remainder of their foe’s equity and Tusk turned his eye to the prize he had been coveting for over a decade. Microsoft had survived the economic depression reasonably well and had been courted by a number of megacorporations over the years, at this point in time however it was rumoured that their chief executive who had lost a lot of money on failed research and development programmes, was on his way out. A number of clandestine meetings were held and if the grapevine was true, a lot of money changed hands, but the Board of Directors agreed to sell Microsoft to Kera in 2099. In 2102 Craig Tusk died of colon cancer having achieved all of his business goals and winning the first and largest corporate war on American soil. Kera has continued on, moving from strength to strength over the years and today is run by Patrick Jenson, a lifelong Kera employee who is known for a consistent and methodical business approach. Kera has several key subsidiary groups including Kera Arms, one of the most successful armament producers in the world, and Hershey Wilcox who they retained as a technologies subsidiary.
Corporate Headquarters: Buenos Aires
Director: Maria Galleti
Corporate Military: 250,000
Important Subsidiaries: Cerebrox, Guzzler Oil, InventaCor, MayaTec, Nexor
Key Rivalries: AzTec, Manta
In 2041 the successful Mendoza conglomerate purchased Banco Rio in Argentina and began a program of expansion throughout the nation setting up factories, warehouses and agricultural concerns. After a few lean years the company began to make ground and purchased several other large Argentinian companies including Frances Bco, Siderca and Telecom Argentina. During the early 2050s the CEO, Benjamín Pérez, turned his eye to a number of other South American and international corporations which were feeling the strain of the downturn. They purchased ALFA and Soriana from Mexico, Eletrobras and Ambev from Brazil and Brother and Pioneer from Japan. In 2053 Pérez’ son was killed in a freak diving accident when he was attacked by a Mako shark. Many believe that it drove Pérez a bit mad and after the initial depression which he suffered he became obsessed with Mako sharks, some have rumoured that his pride made him believe that only a creature with a divine animistic spirit had the power to kill his heir. Whatever the reason, Pérez changed the name of the Mendoza conglomerate to Mako in 2055. He then spent the rest of his career unsuccessfully attempting to get the Argentinian government to grant Mako megacorporation status. On his retirement leadership of the company passed to Valentino Dominguez who was known as a proud Nazca revivalist and also rumoured to have association with a Mayan death cult. Some believe that Dominguez’ success came from sacrificing babies on the desk of his corporate office, these accusations have remained unsubstantiated. Dominguez continued the expansion of Mako with the hostile takeovers of Brazilian companies Itaubanco and Petrobras and the jewel in his crown Apple Computer. After these purchases Dominguez was convinced that the Argentine government would grant Mako megacorporation status, but he was mistaken, they remained unmoved. The lack of MegaCorp recognition for this South American giant made them a laughing stock among the MegaCorp community and Dominguez was infuriated. After the Melna virus had died out in 2069 and the Nazca revivalist movement invaded the nations of Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, Dominguez saw an opportunity to achieve his goal. He, and most of his board, viewed themselves as more Nazca than Argentine anyway, so Mako offered its support to the newly-formed Nazca government in return for being granted immediate MegaCorp status. The Nazca administration, most of whom were good friends with Dominguez anyway, agreed without question. Mako quickly recruited a large corporate army consisting primarily of mercenaries and set up defensive positions in all of the new Nazca regions. When the Argentine forces arrived to recapture the new Nazca territories they were soundly defeated by the aggressive Mako military and their associated Nazca revivalist tribes. Dominguez and the Nazca leadership then decided to push their advantage and launched an invasion against Argentina. Six months later the Argentinian military surrendered and Argentina became a part of the new Nazca order. In 2072 Mako also assisted the Nazca government to invade Colombia, a task which took only 16 days to complete. Links between Mako and the Nazca nation have remained close ever since and Mako has an almost carte blanche power to operate in the territory. Many opposing megacorporations have found it extremely difficult to navigate through the red tape thrown in front of them by the Nazca government. In 2094 Mako purchased one of the last remaining 20th century companies when it attained Home Depot in a hostile takeover. The MayaTec subsidiary was developed in 2112 and has been producing small arms and battlefield weaponry for over a hundred years. Today Mako operates as one of the few remaining South American megacorporations. Its director, Santino Galleti, is an energetic and charismatic figure who is highly sympathetic towards the Nazca totalitarian regime. Like most of his forebears, it is rumoured that he performs sacrifices to appease the animist gods of the Nazca revivalist society. While this is probably just superstitious fear there is no doubt that he would like to sacrifice a number of his MegaCorp counterparts on the altar of Mako.