Jobs Support Register

Cyberpunk Tropes - Evil Corporations

+
Cyberpunk Tropes - Evil Corporations

So I thought it was about time that I started to flood the forums with a series of threads like these. The idea I kinda sorta stole from a geeky forum called pammhg.com that I used to visit... and this game was the biggest reason that drove me there: we called it "Un, dos, tres... pammhgee otra vez", which is a title deeply rooted in Spanish TV culture.

The idea of the game was to give examples of a particular, let's say, character trope or other: characters in tv, comics, movies... popular culture that worked a particular job, had secret identities, had nasty superpowers, had alliterative names, smoked, went pregnant, were twins, were members of the Avengers at some point... you name it. The thread would start with a question or challenge, with users being able to only give one consecutive answer, having to wait for another one to answer, then at the end of the week we would coult the answers and make someone the winner. Seeing the activity of the forums and my ulterior motives, I'm not going to gamify this thread that much (we'll see in the future).

Instead, in this forum I'm going to ask you to give examples of the cyberpunk trope of Evil Corporations that will include:
1. The name of the thing/character (in this case of the corporation) and where it originally appeared.
2. An illustrative picture and/or video of the thing.
3. A brief overview of the thing.
4. How and why it should inspire Cyberpunk 2077.

Let's do this. Here's an example:

OCP - Robocop

Founded and headed by the character only known as "The Old Man", more than being an overt antagonist in the Robocop movie series and TV series its corporate attitude is the source of a lot of evil things happening. They develop everything from consumer products to military hardware and their gentrification plans include the creation of the modern Delta City in what used to be the run down Old Detroit through the creation of "the future of law enforcement" through the prototypes of robotic and cyborg police that we see in the movies movie... and through backing a criminal gang as deniable assets for the ultimate downfall of Old Detroit and facilitating the raw materials for Robocop.

How and why it should inspire CP2077: OCP is engrained in 80s corporate culture and laissez fare market politics. The satire surrounding it is strong from the very beginning of the movie right to the final act. The way the boardroom at the beginning acts around the fuckup with ED-209 is itself a case study. Also lots of coke, bitches leave... the whole thing. Cyberpunk 2077 should also use some of the TV commercials played for fun thing. If you believe the myth that there was a Robocop 3 in which a japanese corporation with cyborg samurais tried to absorb it it also has all that trope going for it too.


Okay, so, what other Evil Corporations... in fiction? should inspire 2077 in your opinion (leaving aside the fact that Cyberpunk 2020 has its own canon).
 
i try:

Sarif Industries, from Deus Ex: Human Revolution USA in year 2027, it creates cybernetic implants and augmentations for humans, but then you need to buy a serum for your body to be compatible with the prosthectic implant/augmentation for th rest of your life, and this industry i also spying people using their products.



in my opinion it should not inspire cyberpunk 2077, i find this industry boring, too simple, monotone, lifeless


Weiland-Yutani: building better worlds, from USa and Japan, from the Alien franchise, they are a powerful organization, they create and sell technology, build structures, and steal technology by any means necessary



this corporation could inspire cyberpunk 2077, ir is ruthless, it has scientists, mercenaries, technicians, at its disposal, it has well hidden interests, very misterious
 
Last edited:
While I do think that inspirations/influences in this regard should be kept to a minimum (Cyberpunk has its slew of evil corps covering pretty much all relevant mega corp-related tropes and subtropes after all) I wouldn't mind being reminded of the following in CP2077:

Tyrell Corporation - Blade Runner



"The Tyrell Corporation is a corporation from the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. Based in Los Angeles in the year AF 19, Tyrell is named after its founder Eldon Tyrell and is a high-tech corporation primarily concerned with the production of androids.

The company's motto is "More human than human"."

Inspirations to draw from... should be architectural design (exterior and interior) only.

I'd absolutely love to see the characteristic pyramid/ziggurat-like structure of Tyrell's headquarters incorporated to some capacity into Night City's skyline.

[video=youtube;-fu7jN2_2pE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fu7jN2_2pE&t=3m49s[/video]


Some variation of the LAPD's tower would be neat to have too, btw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx02tM0os7k&t=3m53s

Extra points for something that's both Blade Runner's LAPD tower and Metropolis' Tower of Babel, which obviously still is the OG when it comes to menacingly-looking corp towers.





Back to Tyrell - the interior retro-archaic architectural design of Tyrell's office is also something I wouldn't mind to be incorporated to any extent into CP2077 at all:

[video=youtube;ndnd-ERnWew]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndnd-ERnWew[/video]

[video=youtube;g-DkoGvcEBw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-DkoGvcEBw[/video]


Zorg Industries - The Fifth Element



"Zorg Industries is a corrupt mega-corporation based in 23rd century New York City that is run by it's dangerous namesake owner Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg and an antagonistic faction in the 1997 sci-fi/action film The Fifth Element.

This powerful multinational corporation has business interests ranging from taxi service to weapons manufacturing, plus a CEO who sells out humanity to the Big Bad in exchange for a couple extra bucks and personally attempts to kill the heroes when his hired guns cannot do it."

Inspirations to draw from... should be Gary Oldman's brilliant portrayal of Zorg Industries' founder Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg.

Because I think it'd be neat to have at least one of the CEOs of Cyberpunk's various established corporations to be (partially) based on J.B.E. Zorg.

 
Last edited:


dataDyne Corporation

Originally Appeared: Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64. Year: 2000.

dataDyne is a powerful megacorporation that specializes in military, research and commercial production for its contractors. Its name is shorthand for 'Data Dynamics' and is a spoof of classic "-dyne" sci-fi and cyberpunk corporations such as Yoyodyne and Cyberdyne. It is modeled after Samsung, a chaebol/zaibatsu that all but controls South Korean life— it is possible to be born in a dataDyne hospital, live in a dataDyne house, work in a dataDyne office, fight with dataDyne weapons, and die in a dataDyne coffin.
The story in Perfect Dark was that their CEO collaborated with the chief of the NSA to retrieve an ancient alien megaweapon at the bottom of the Pacific for a race of war-obsessed aliens in return for greater technology— naturally, they were going to be doublecrossed, but they were too blinded by greed and delusions of power to see it. In the Prequel, dataDyne was headed by a Chinese transhuman who desired to obtain a mystical superweapon; you often clashed with his spoiled-evil daughter and their mercenaries, and it culminated in an all-out war. There was also a Gameboy Color title where dataDyne experimented with biomutants. I could even get into the various novels and comics, but I won't.

Why should its influence be felt in Cyberpunk 2077?

Such a force of nature would definitely drive home the nature and danger of megacorporations. When a single company controls every facet of your life (from birth to the grave), you are essentially their slave. Even worse if your only option to resist is to join forces with another, slightly less malevolent megacorporation.
 
I think I have said something about the whole "good/evil" thing insofar as it pertains to Cyberpunk on another part of this forum. In the case of corps as it is with individuals, I don't think the issue is so cut and dry. Are there going to be corps that are more cutthroat and ruthless in pursuit of their aims? I would sure as hell hope so....This IS Cyberpunk we are talking about here. But as for a corp being truly EVIL in the homicidal, sociopathic sense? I highly doubt it as such a corp wouldn't be in business very long. If their sociopathic tendencies didn't get them axed by a rival, more "benevolent" corp, their lack of customers, bad PR and the like would more than likely do them in. Think about this: The aim of any corp is 1.) To make a profit and 2.) Power. Become too much of a scum bucket establishment and expect to disappear...quickly.
 
RLKing1969;n9321521 said:
I think I have said something about the whole "good/evil" thing insofar as it pertains to Cyberpunk on another part of this forum. In the case of corps as it is with individuals, I don't think the issue is so cut and dry. Are there going to be corps that are more cutthroat and ruthless in pursuit of their aims? I would sure as hell hope so....This IS Cyberpunk we are talking about here. But as for a corp being truly EVIL in the homicidal, sociopathic sense? I highly doubt it as such a corp wouldn't be in business very long. If their sociopathic tendencies didn't get them axed by a rival, more "benevolent" corp, their lack of customers, bad PR and the like would more than likely do them in. Think about this: The aim of any corp is 1.) To make a profit and 2.) Power. Become too much of a scum bucket establishment and expect to disappear...quickly.
Mostly "Evil Corporation" is just a label. The idea of it is that far from having this make them bad in the eye of the consumer this ruthlessness would be the edge of these megacorporations. In todays world in fact It's hardly ever that the most benevolent corporations are the more successful ones. The trick is knowing how to balance things like profit maximization, which is often done through some pretty ruthless tactics, and good PR. But you have to remember that good PR is that insofar as it is good PR for, say, the first world, middle-to-high-class consumer... or low class consumer who will just buy because it's so cheap because the ruthlessness allowed it to be so.

Say, in my country there is a certain industrialist of a certain chain of clothing companies, from manufacture to consumer retail that has extended worldwide. They are notorious for some cases of bad practices in the third world countries where they manufacture, with security standards in the working place so low that the sweatshops will literally collapse on their workers, and then they will handle the situation pretty badly. Everyone knows about it. But we all buy, because it's kind of cheap and it's a popular brand. And oh, the guy, this industrialist, he got the good PR. We've been having a whole debate around some donation related to public health he wanted to make in my country where the government is constantly cutting back on the budget for it; a debate about if we should depend on these "philanthropists'" good will to kick in every now and then to finance it in exchange for good PR.

I don't know if it came through in my retelling of it, but the matter is pretty complex in the real world. I tell you, a family reunion in Spain nowadays can turn into a bloodbath because your "brother-in-law" won't shut the fuck up about how good this entrepreneur is and you want to debate it XD. It *is* difficult to hate these family-friendly, smiling corporations in the real world because of this. Cyberpunk just amps it up a bit so that it's easier to hate them and have them be the villains.

But oh, a re disregard for union agreements, ecology, safety in the workplace, anticonsumer practice, experimentation in humans, slavery, war profiteering... profitable for corps.
 
Not to mention the classic cases of dumping industrial waste where it sometimes turns entire towns and regions in to toxic waste dumps.
After all ... it would reduce our profits if we disposed of it properly.
 
Corporates fighting among themselves and playing their own little games is just your typical average day in the corporate zone. Survival of the fittest my friends. It ain't evil. It's reality. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Welcome to corporate zone.
 
Snowflakez;n10746651 said:
Facebook is more appropriate currently.
Nah, they got bought by Arasaka and now simply call it Face as books no longer exist in 2077 and no one except a certain few know what a book is. Even though cops still say throw the book at them.
 
The real question is ...

Are the corps "evil" or just psychopathic (A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,”)?

"Evil" implies they know they're screwing people over, and may even be doing so on purpose.
 
Suhiira;n10746921 said:
Are the corps "evil" or
Some of the short stories written into the core 2020 book make at least Arasaka Corp to be be evil with the everything they did while groups like Militech were just an arms company making guns. I would then say it would depend more on the Corp CEO than the full company itself.
 
Yeah I think evil is the wrong word generally. More like completely and unapologetic-ally self interested, with enormous resources to see that whatever ends they desire are accomplished, without regard for the means used to accomplish them. If your looking for a single word I think unethical would be better than evil. Evil implies they are doing it solely because it hurts people ... as in hurting people is the objective, where as the corporations in cyberpunk fiction normally do the bad things they do for some greater end, despite knowing that it will hurt people.
 
Last edited:
Rawls;n10755581 said:
Yeah I think evil is the wrong word generally. More like completely and unapologetic-ally self interested, with enormous resources to see that whatever ends they desire are accomplished, without regard for the means used to accomplish them. If your looking for a single word I think unethical would be better than evil. Evil implies they are doing it solely because it hurts people ... as in hurting people is the objective, where as the corporations in cyberpunk fiction normally do it the bad things they do for some greater end, despite knowing that it will hurt people.
Yup, this is why I like stories like this.

In real life, while there are most certainly truly evil individuals who get sick enjoyment out of hurting people, I do not think they are as common as the world would have you believe. Even the most jaded billionaires do some of the bad things they do for money, not with the sole purpose of messing with people's lives.

Additionally, very little is black and white in real life, let alone in a world like Cyberpunk. For all we know, those 1,000 people some messed up corp just slaughtered had early signs of a new plague (yes, I know this is unlikely, just an example - motives matter).
 
And the "fun" part is, most Corp flunkies , in their bureaucratic 'the right hand seldom knows what the left is doing' glory/haze see your Edgerunner as a terrorist.