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World Building Advice for making mega-corporations

MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
So I am fully invested in dystopian world-building at the moment and am looking at corporate structures and various industries, trying to establish a corporate landscape for a future where there are about 8-12 different corporations that monopolizes the entire economy. Right now I am trying to think of various industries that need to be covered by these companies. So far I have thought of:
  • Communications
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Energy
  • Entertainment
  • Biotechnology
  • Media
  • Manufacturing
  • Automation
  • Construction
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retail
  • Food/Alcohol Manufacturing
  • Restaurants
  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Tourism
  • Farming
  • Nutrition
I know that's a big list, but they will be bundles into a few corporations that have conglomerated many different industries under one banner. I would welcome any suggestions of industries, or sciences I haven't thought of. Or just businesses that might be cool to represent.

I also am trying to get to grips with how a basic corporate structure would look like. While browsing Wikipedia, I have come up with this basic structure:
  1. President
  2. Board of Directors
  3. Chief Executive Officer
  4. Chief Financial Officer
  5. Chief Legal Officer
  6. Executives from subsidiary divisions
  7. Committees
This would represent a conglomerate structure, essentially like Alphabet Inc. The owners of Google, and all their other subsidiaries.

Any ideas on this?
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
Wow. Just wow.

I think you have things pretty well in hand. Besides looking up some Megacorporation generators on the web which might give you some interesting ideas to flesh things out it looks like you already have a strong start and can start consolidating things into a game world where people can start to have fun. Without knowing more about your world and why it's a dystopia I think people would be hard pressed to offer you more.

Let me know when you get into other aspects of your world-building. I'd love to help.
 

MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
Wow. Just wow.

I think you have things pretty well in hand. Besides looking up some Megacorporation generators on the web which might give you some interesting ideas to flesh things out it looks like you already have a strong start and can start consolidating things into a game world where people can start to have fun. Without knowing more about your world and why it's a dystopia I think people would be hard pressed to offer you more.

Let me know when you get into other aspects of your world-building. I'd love to help.
Well. I'm looking for any ideas that pop up. Right now I'm trying to establish the history of how the corporations consolidated their power by merging with each-other, eventually becoming so big that their influence became to great to question. I assigned these various industries like a puzzle. So you will have different corps dominating different things:
  • Corp 1 (Communications, Consumer Electronics, Energy, Entertainment, Biotechnology, Media)
  • Corp 2 (Manufacturing, Automation, Construction)
  • Corp 3 (Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Neurotechnology)
  • Corp 4 (Pharmaceutical, Retail)
  • Corp 5 (Food & Alcohol Production, Restaurants)
  • Corp 6 (Retail, Construction, Manufacturing)
  • Corp 7 (Energy, Mining, Manufacturing)
  • Corp 8 (Tourism, Restaurants)
  • Corp 9 (Consumer Electronics, Entertainment, Retail, Media)
  • Corp 10 (Farming, Food & Alcohol Production, Nutrition)
  • Corp 11 (Media)
  • Corp 12 (Entertainment)
I'm also trying to think of cutting-edge technologies to implement.
 

The Dark Wizard

🔥
Administrator
Well. I'm looking for any ideas that pop up. Right now I'm trying to establish the history of how the corporations consolidated their power by merging with each-other, eventually becoming so big that their influence became to great to question. I assigned these various industries like a puzzle. So you will have different corps dominating different things:
  • Corp 1 (Communications, Consumer Electronics, Energy, Entertainment, Biotechnology, Media)
  • Corp 2 (Manufacturing, Automation, Construction)
  • Corp 3 (Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Neurotechnology)
  • Corp 4 (Pharmaceutical, Retail)
  • Corp 5 (Food & Alcohol Production, Restaurants)
  • Corp 6 (Retail, Construction, Manufacturing)
  • Corp 7 (Energy, Mining, Manufacturing)
  • Corp 8 (Tourism, Restaurants)
  • Corp 9 (Consumer Electronics, Entertainment, Retail, Media)
  • Corp 10 (Farming, Food & Alcohol Production, Nutrition)
  • Corp 11 (Media)
  • Corp 12 (Entertainment)
I'm also trying to think of cutting-edge technologies to implement.
There is a Mega corp I run in a roleplay and I simplified my setup at the top by having the President and the different chairment of the board who are actually the various department heads and under them are their people, etc.

President
13 Chairmen
Everyone else.
 
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MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
There is a Mega corp I run in a roleplay and I simplified my setup at the top by having the President and the different chairment of the board who are actually the various department heads and under them are their people, etc.

President
13 Chairmen
Everyone else.
I see. I think that's probably the way to go for roleplaying. But I am, perhaps foolishly, trying to create different corporate structures based on the various histories of the companies and what their corporate culture is. This might sound overly ambitious, but I'm not writing with the pretension that I'm necessarily going to use this for anything :)

I think having the chairmen as heads of department is an effective way to tell a story, so I might adopt that. I'm also harboring this idea that there was a corporate breakup, to counteract monopolization, but the remnants of the old corporations are actually interconnected, as the same people are serving on different boards, or as executives, under fake names and such. To make it look like they're different companies but actually they are far more connected than they seem.

What roleplay is this, if I might ask?
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
Look at this generator for ideas.

Random generators provide a great starting point for a more flushed out narrative!

 
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The Dark Wizard

🔥
Administrator
What roleplay is this, if I might ask?
I tend to use it for megalopolis reboots, fractured and other games. I flesh out departments as needed. I see dystopian corps almost as dictators so they wouldn't overly complex themselvea.
 
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MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
I tend to use it for megalopolis reboots, fractured and other games. I flesh out departments as needed. I see dystopian corps almost as dictators so they wouldn't overly complex themselvea.
I see your reasoning. Interesting thought. That would entail quite a high level of complacency. When you go from corporation to a mafia-like structure, perhaps. Megalopolis still around? It's crazy that this shit's still going on. Like Amaranth. Just wonderful.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I can't really think of any industry you're missing per se, though there are economic agents your megacorporations still don't control with your list that would be major hidrances to them:
1. Banking (and financial agencies in general, from things like banks and loan sharks to investment managers and to an extent insurance)
2. Education
3. Transportation/Travel
4. Engeneering and related (sewers, roads, dams...)

Still, I do believe that while this is all well and good, there is one absolutely major obstacle to the scenario that will be hard to swipe away with suspension of disbelief: pretty much every country in the world has intense anti-monopoly laws. There are caviats to some of these laws, many of which involve the company being owned by the government, however given the kind of dystopian scenario you want to build the laws still cover even that, such as the abuse of dominant position. And this is without even going into how whenever companies merge they have to report to a specific agency for approval, or burocracies when it comes to internal law differences and so on...

You are going to want to think of how the megacorporations managed to get away the rather blatant infrigement on the laws that allowed them.


Another BIG thing to think about, though people are generally more forgiving on this one is the question "who's paying for it"? For anything a company does people must be investing in it-and each invester has their own goals, which while generally profit-oriented doesn't mean they have no standards as to what they will do to get said profit.


Hope this helps. Best of luck and happy RPing!
 
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MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
I can't really think of any industry you're missing per se, though there are economic agents your megacorporations still don't control with your list that would be major hidrances to them:
1. Banking (and financial agencies in general, from things like banks and loan sharks to investment managers and to an extent insurance)
2. Education
3. Transportation/Travel
4. Engeneering and related (sewers, roads, dams...)
With banking I considered that the corporations are so massive that they just are a bank in and of itself, they run all of that internally, but that was just a quick thought I had. Now, education I hadn't even thought of, nice catch my friend. Probably I would go with a decentralized system, that all education is privatized. Seems perhaps too powerful of a tool to lend to a single corp. Not sure about this. Transportation I would guess falls under what corporation runs what area. Or perhaps there will be a powerless centralized system, sort of like a governors office, that runs some things. Also not sure about this. Physical infrastructure I guess falls under "Construction". Nice ones my friend, really appreciate this. Sometimes when you're trying to come up with a list like the one I did with the industries, you come up with so many that eventually you are blinded to the one's you're missing.
Still, I do believe that while this is all well and good, there is one absolutely major obstacle to the scenario that will be hard to swipe away with suspension of disbelief: pretty much every country in the world has intense anti-monopoly laws. There are caviats to some of these laws, many of which involve the company being owned by the government, however given the kind of dystopian scenario you want to build the laws still cover even that, such as the abuse of dominant position. And this is without even going into how whenever companies merge they have to report to a specific agency for approval, or burocracies when it comes to internal law differences and so on...
Well, right now I am designing an alternate version of our modern world. I don't know exactly how different it will be. But I am trying to represent our modern companies, but instead merging different companies into one. Like making one 24/h news network like FOX or CNN, instead of having several of them. But everything will be named differently. Kind of like how Caprica in Battlestar Galactica is not earh, but very similar to earth. If you catch my drift. About the anti-monopoly laws and how to work around that. This is something I'm considering when I'm writing the history at the moment. My only comment right now would be to say that these laws exist, but somehow we still find corporations merging constantly. Like AT&T and Time Warner, or Heinz and Kraft, Verizon and Cellco. The list goes on. This is nevertheless a great point you are making. Thanks.
Another BIG thing to think about, though people are generally more forgiving on this one is the question "who's paying for it"? For anything a company does people must be investing in it-and each invester has their own goals, which while generally profit-oriented doesn't mean they have no standards as to what they will do to get said profit.
Yes this is something to consider, but that will come later I think. When I get into the nitty-gritty of the economic system at hand.
Hope this helps. Best of luck and happy RPing!
It sure does help. A lot. Great post. Thanks!
Speaking of which, I think we're still waiting on that :P
So it lives...
I've been faring much better after my procedure.
I wish you all the best with that. Hope it goes well!
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Oh God I'm so sorry I completely forgot to reply!

With banking I considered that the corporations are so massive that they just are a bank in and of itself, they run all of that internally, but that was just a quick thought I had. Now, education I hadn't even thought of, nice catch my friend. Probably I would go with a decentralized system, that all education is privatized. Seems perhaps too powerful of a tool to lend to a single corp. Not sure about this. Transportation I would guess falls under what corporation runs what area. Or perhaps there will be a powerless centralized system, sort of like a governors office, that runs some things. Also not sure about this. Physical infrastructure I guess falls under "Construction". Nice ones my friend, really appreciate this. Sometimes when you're trying to come up with a list like the one I did with the industries, you come up with so many that eventually you are blinded to the one's you're missing.
You'll have a hard time really passign that idea, because banks (specifically a country's central bank) gets to do something that a company would never be allowed to: literally print money. Combating inflation and financial imbalances that could damage the economy is the central bank's biggest job and a company with biased interests taking it over would be a story in of itself.

Other than that, I think you're good. To tell you the truth even I had to think for a while before coming up with that short a list of things to add.
 

MDL

RIP Doctor Calgori
Oh God I'm so sorry I completely forgot to reply!


You'll have a hard time really passign that idea, because banks (specifically a country's central bank) gets to do something that a company would never be allowed to: literally print money. Combating inflation and financial imbalances that could damage the economy is the central bank's biggest job and a company with biased interests taking it over would be a story in of itself.

Other than that, I think you're good. To tell you the truth even I had to think for a while before coming up with that short a list of things to add.
That's true. How does the economy remain balanced at a macro-level without a regulatory system? I've written about 20 pages so far and I have arrived at the conclusion that there is a public police force and a public court system. During the time when the government was in the process of being disbanded there was an extensive power-struggle between the corps. Because of this it was decided that there was a need for a neutral police force, but only investigative, they don't patrol streets - they only respond to crime scenes, so that corporate disputed could be solved. And the courts to go with them. But as we get closer to the actual date of the world this force is continuously corrupted by corps trying to get ahead in the game. So things have started to destabilize.

I will probably need something similar for the economy. An agency that is mostly powerless but is in place to keep the economy stable.
 

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