Mega Corp

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"Corporation, noun: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. "
Ambrose Bierce

Speculative fiction, especially Dystopian and Cyberpunk fiction, tends to lean toward massive corporations. These corporations are usually umbrella corporations, controlling dozens of smaller companies that manufacture everything from clothing to military hardware. They can even be the police.

Perhaps there is one company that is a Privately-Owned Society in its own right. This goes beyond the definition of "monopoly."

Rarely are Mega Corporations portrayed with anything other than unremitting negativism; rather than being a simple business making things that people want to buy, they are almost invariably the villains of the setting, and depicted as exploitative, oppressive and screwing the rules with their money while maintaining a Peace and Love Incorporated facade. They are home to the Corrupt Corporate Executive, Bad Boss, Pointy-Haired Boss, and Obstructive Bureaucrat, and usually have Amoral Attorneys on the payroll.

Mega Corporations are shown as being private institutions and therefore doesn't have to play by most rules the government has to, such as freedom of speech, because it's always "nobody is forcing you to work for them or buy from them or use their institutions or buy their products." However, more darker versions will also show these guys pretty much buying off or eliminating their competitors, brainwashing the masses, and coming up with Evil Plans to ensure they have a monopoly and making it so that you still have to buy their products, while their employees are sometimes portrayed as oppressed, paid pitifully low wages (if at all), and treated as expendable. Dictatorships inside democracies.

They may also be shown controlling the government either through having employees in important positions or through lobbying, or taken to its extreme, may have Private Military Contractors or other Hired Guns (or even an entire country or world) at their disposal, and become Superpowers in their own right.

A more benign version may be owned by a Rich Idiot With No Day Job. However, in Post Cyber Punk stories, some Mega Corps can aspire to be Big Good , providing the hero with amazing equipment in their quest to literally snuff out the competition. There do exist some rare benevolent portrayals of a Mega Corp; in which they merely may just be a large business who employs a lot of people but isn't shown practicing in unethical trade practices.

Monopolies, Duopolies and Oligopolies (market structures which usually are home to several Mega Corp entities) do exist in real life, and indeed, very large multinational corporations do exist. And yes, some of these corporations do engage in unethical practices or political influence. Of course, it is an exaggeration (at least) to claim all corporations act in this way.

Examples of Mega Corp include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Toha Heavy Industries from both Blame and Biomega.
  • Capsule Corp. from Dragon Ball produces everything from houses to cars, and then puts them in a small portable (as in, pocket-sized) capsule. The Brief family is so rich that they build people space crafts for free. One of the few examples of a Mega Corp that's an unambiguously positive force in society. Eventually their product line is expanded to spaceships and even (in alternate universes) a time machine, but those aren't for sale and instead are just used by the Brief family and their personal friends (who happen to be the heroes of the story).
  • The Paradigm Corporation in The Big O controls everything inside Paradigm City.
  • Nergal from Martian Successor Nadesico is a somewhat more benign example, but keep in mind that it's a private company with enough resources to build and crew its own spaceship. Needless to say, everything on board is a Nergal product.
  • Paradias in Yu-Gi-Oh!!, which possessed shares in every company on the planet and even held sway over world governments in addition to being a front for the Cult and its Ancient Conspiracy
    • The "shares in every company" isn't that impressive though. "Index funds" are a fairly common method of investment
      • Diversification, yes. Good concept. Yet, I think the average 12-year-old would still be impressed with a company having leverage in every public company in the world. (Considering their Meganess, they may even have leverage in private companies.)
    • Yiliaster from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is even closer to this, considering they have so much technology and money that they can actually manipulate the time stream.
    • One rather interesting thing about the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!!. In the Japanese version, Alistair's grudge against Kaiba Corps was that they supplied the tanks that killed his brother. In the Dub? Kaiba Corps bought the land he (among many others including his family) were living on and were forcing them out with tanks. Sound like something you'd expect out of a Cyberpunk story?
  • Genom Corporation from Bubblegum Crisis is a sprawling global economic powerhouse which manufactures everything from toasters to military cyborgs (Boomers). It exerts tremendous influence on the world's governments and entertains plans for overt world domination through the use of the so-called Overmind Control System, which is presumably capable of remotely controlling all AIs on the planet.
  • Daiwa Heavy Industries from Vexille succeed in assuming complete control of Japan, eradicating most of its population and turning the survivors into cyborg drones. They also have plans to do the same on a worldwide scale.
  • Death Note: The Yotsuba Corporation. According to How to Read 13, it is a massive international corporate conglomerate that employs over 300,000 people and is involved in everything from heavy industry to resort development to military weapons. It gets even more powerful when the Yotsuba Group uses the death note to kill off Yotsuba's rivals. Their security is very lax though and after Light kills the Yotsuba Group, the Megacorporation's stock plummets and the Yotsuba Corporation loses much of its influence.
  • Anaheim Electronics from the Universal Century Gundams, which grew to power after acquiring the assets of the Zeonic Corporation after the One Year War. They had a bad habit of selling out to both sides in a conflict, which may have been part of the reason they lost their contract with the Earth Federation to SNRI.
    • The stuff that happened in Operation Stardust wasn't actually their fault. And the profiteering mindset came about after the Gryps Conflict as they actually threw in their lot with AEUG but were contractually bound to supply the Titans despite all the restrictions that were forced onto them.
    • It also helped that the Moon, their main base of operation, was kind of a Space Switzerland, and consistently remained neutral in the most conflicts around the Earth Sphere. Though real-life Switzerland rarely sells weapons larger than a handgun to foreign militaries.
    • By the events of Crossbone Gundam, set 10–13 years after F91, it's mentioned that Anaheim has weakened to the point of desperation. Which SNRI and the Crossbone Vanguard take advantage of.
    • Anaheim does return back to prominence by the time of Victory Gundam. Especially when it's revealed that they're the true benefactors behind the League Militaire, reminiscent of the vital support they provided to the AEUG back in Zeta Gundam.
  • Myth Corp in Mythic Quest
  • Darkside Blues had the company Persona Century, which had bought over 90% of Earth's surace.
  • Holy Nightmare Corporation/Nightmare Enterprises in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, the owner of the company being a Galactic Conqueror known in the original version as the "Emperor of Darkness".

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • LexCorp from The DCU, which employs roughly a third of the people in Metropolis, runs everything from the supermarket to the daily news, and exists primarily as a tool in its CEO's plan to destroy one single individual.
    • At one point its CEO was Lana Lang, who had to explain to Superman that the structure of the company is such she can't stop it making Kryptonite weapons without laying off a lot of people. She was removed from the position when it turned out all Lexcorp contracts had a standard clause automatically firing people who used Lexcorp resources to help the Kryptonian.
    • Ironically, the CEO who did the most good with LexCorp was Talia Al Ghul, an AntiHeroine slash Anti-Villain at best and the loyal daughter of an immortal eco-terrorist hell bent on eradicating humanity. Her solution? Sell everything, and leave Lex with nothing (she did it for her boyfriend). Didn't last very long, though.
  • Wayne Enterprises is a rare example of a Mega Corp out to do good. Bruce Wayne took over his late father's corrupted company and turned it into a force against poverty, unemployment, and other societal ills he couldn't handle with a Batarang. Like Luthor's company, it controls most business in Gotham City. This probably explains why Gotham is still a bustling growth city considering the fact that people like Joker run amok on a nightly basis. It is usually second only to LexCorp in international clout, as well; similarly, Wayne is usually described as the second-wealthiest man in the world.
    • This becomes particularly relevant in Batman Begins, as Wayne Tower is the central hub of everything in Gotham, and that becomes critical to the Big Bad's plan.
    • As the No Man's Land arc finishes Bruce Wayne ends up becoming more important than Batman as its only his downright massive spending on rebuilding Gotham that keeps Luthor from taking control of it like Metropolis.
      • Well, that and the recovery of records that prove land ownership that prevented Luthor from taking land for himself.
  • The Marvel Universe counterpart to Wayne Enterprises is Stark Industries.
    • While their counterpart to LexCorp is Oscorp.
    • The universe also features a few smaller megacorps, like the hero-run Rand Industries (Iron Fist) and Worthington Industries (Angel) and the villainous Oscorp (Norman Osborn).
  • Marvel's 2099 titles had the world run by Mega Corps. How bad were things, you ask? The person that eventually overthrew their control and ushered in a fairer regime was none other than Doctor Doom.
  • Veidt Enterprises, run by Adrian Veidt. Makes everything from hairspray to music television to tachyon particle emitters.
  • The Authority once battled an interdimensional mega corporation.
  • Armtech of Last Man Standing controls all of Amerika.
  • Clay Industries in PS238, which seems to sell all the materials needed to build the elaborate superhero bases, security systems and other useful pieces of equipment used by the school, many of the superheroes and Praetorian Academy. They're also implied to sell 'instant-buildings', explaining how a universe so rich in superheroes manages to survive all the inevitable property damage. It seems to be a fairly benign company, as the founder and owner appears to be the school's janitor.
  • The Zinco company, which serves as the Hellboy universe's rough Lexcorp equivalent. Was run by a pair of Nazi occultist supervillain fanboys until they both got themselves killed in separate attempts to defeat the BPRD and kick-start The End of the World as We Know It.
  • The Starship Corporation from Nintendo Power's Star FOX comic is a rare thoroughly benign example, being the leading manufacturer of starships (which are important hardware in a sci-fi universe) and, despite the fortune they could make, not supplying the Big Bad.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Evil's Hero High Series has Sphinx Corp. Hinted at the end of the first, played straight with practically owning the town in book two, and in book 3 it grows so powerful they purchase a city and even becomes recognized as a major government power by the end.

Film[edit | hide]

  • James Cameron seems to love this trope.
    • Cyberdyne from the Terminator films. While not exactly evil like Cameron's other Mega Corps, they're certainly unscrupulous to the point that they can convince the military to have all its defenses run by Skynet. Their high-tech invention ends up causing The End of the World as We Know It and the subsequent Robot War.
    • Weyland-Yutani, Alien franchise. Famously evil enough to sacrifice squads of colonial marines, entire colonies, and even the security of the Earth in its attempt to weaponize the eponymous alien critters...and in the fourth film eventually bought out by an even more evil rival, Wal-Mart. In this case though Cameron did not make the mega corp; it was already present and evil in the original Alien; Cameron just fleshed it out.
    • Avatar brings us the Resources Development Administration, an interstellar mining and transportation firm which swings more meat than most countries.
  • Omni Consumer Products, RoboCop is another iconic example: they have divisions in such diverse fields as consumer products, healthcare, prisons, space exploration, law enforcement to military grade weaponry and their ultimate goal is to turn Detroit into Delta City, One City Under Copyright.
  • The driving conflict in Inception is the protagonists trying to stop of one of these from being created. It's stated that if the head of the corporation makes the decision to do so then the company will become the only empire in the world.
  • Inspector Gadget has Scolex Industries, which produces technology such as robots and androids (such as the Robo Gadget line).
  • The Trade Federation in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is wealthy and influential enough to maintain its own navy (albeit one composed of converted cargo ships) and blockade entire planets at a whim, as well as have its own seat in the Galactic Senate. Yeah, they were rich enough to explicitly buy political power.
    • The presence of fellow Mega Corps the Techno Union and Banking Clan in the Separatist army seems to suggest that maintaining a giant army of killer Deathbots is a standard business practice in the Star Wars galaxy.
      • It was until (explained in the Expanded Universe) the Galactic Empire outlawed military droids. Though this didn't stop many criminal and quasi-legal organizations from employing large forces of "security guard droids".
    • Also from the Expanded Universe, Kuat Drive Yards is the Empire's primary manufacturer of starships. It should be noted that this company is powerful enough to have a security fleet comprised mostly of Star Battlecruisers and Star Dreadnoughts that dwarf the Empire's iconic Star Destroyers, each of which is in turn, powerful enough to literally scare an entire star system into submission. Talk about overkill.
      • Granted, Kuat is under exclusive contract with the Empire, and is thus allowed to maintain said security force. In addition, the Empire has even more of said Star Dreadnoughts, the most famous of which is the Executor, Vader's Super Star Destroyer. And also includes the Emperor's personal Super Star Destroyer, the Eclipse...which has as its main armament a miniaturized Death Star Superlaser. Which luckily was still under construction at the time of the movies.
    • As with KDY, the Corellian Engineering Corpooration (CEC) enjoys its own huge security fleet, though it is not involved purely in military contracts (which one could argue simply makes CEC all the more alarming). Its success has made it arguably the most prolific of the huge manufacturing supercorporations in the Expanded Universe. Oh, and they happen to jointly own a military subcontractor with Kuat, and purchased one of their Corellian rivals when a travel accident killed off the executive staff.
    • Czerka Corp. in Knights of the Old Republic doesn't have its own navy, but it does own and enslave entire planets (Kashyyyk being one of them) and is utterly indifferent to the outcome of the Jedi Civil War.
      • They're also outside the law, pretty much. One of the loading screens in the game says that Companies like Czerka police themselves because they're too big for authorities to handle.
    • The Corporate Sector Authority, first seen in the early Han Solo Adventure novels, owns an entire sector of space (the Corporate Sector), in which the Empire permits it to harvest and exploit resources with impunity. Strip-mine entire worlds? Enslave whole populations? Execute workers for conspiring to form labor unions? Check, Check, and Check. As long as they pay their tribute to the Emperor (which is much lower than what their taxes would be if they operated in the Empire proper), anything goes.
    • The Offworld Mining Corporation in the Jedi Apprentice books.
    • Adascorp in the Knights Of The Old Republic comic series, allied with Czerka Corp, also count.
  • Buy N Large, from WALL-E, a barely-disguised scathing satire of Wal-Mart. It's so large that the CEO is literally President of the World - we even see the White House press room redone with the Buy N Large logo.
  • Played with in Scanners, where ConSec is given much the same role as The Kingdom would be in a standard fantasy, with a Reasonable Authority Figure and an Evil Chancellor. Two evil chancellors, if you count Dr. Ruth.
  • The Big Bad in Repo! The Genetic Opera, Gene Co, definitely counts, what with the selling you organs which will be repossessed if you don't make payments for 90 days (which is common in the future), getting you hooked on drugs, and generally being jerks. But they did save the world at one point.
  • The East India Trading Company from Pirates of the Caribbean. It even got control over an armada of over 300 warships from the British Royal Navy. Not surprising, given its real life counterpart is also an example.
  • District 9's MNU is by far one of the most evilest Mega Corps ever. They force the aliens to live in slums, treat them like crap, spread lies about them to keep the rest of the human race from finding out what they do, arrest any human not on their payroll from coming into contact with aliens (again to prevent the rest of mankind from finding out what they're doing) even their own employees are in the dark like the fact that they are tring to make a human-alien hybrid so they can use their weapons. In fact they're so bad Fan Dumb lumps the entire human race (all 6.5 billion) with them. (really, it's like blaming the whole German population for what Hitler did, yes I went there).
  • The International (2009) is about efforts to investigate an international bank that finances third world revolution, money laundering and arms trading. Based on the real life BCCI.
  • PharmaCom from Johnny Mnemonic.
  • In the original Rollerball, all governing power around the world was in the hands of large corporations.
  • Tyrell Corporation from Blade Runner
  • The Zorg Corporation from The Fifth Element 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 can't do it.
  • The Very Big Corporation of America in The Crimson Permanent Assurance short that leads into Monty Pythons Meaning of Life. The board room is covered with the names of the smaller businesses they gobbled up.
  • In Mel Brooks's Silent Movie, Mel's little movie production company is in danger of getting stomped into a little greasy spot on the pavement by the ultra-gigantic Mega Corp studio Engulf & Devour.
  • In the Tron franchise, the corporation known as ENCOM tends to display Mega Corp tendencies whenever it's not being controlled by idealists like founder Dr. Walter Gibbs or Kevin Flynn.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Manpower Incorporated of the Honor Harrington series is the poster boy of this trope. They own and control entire planets, have their own space navy, their own army complete with combat line clones, own other corporations, their main products are genetic slave clones, and practically dictate the foreign and domestic policy of not one, not two, but dozens of star nations. To add icing on the cake, their CEO Albrecht Dettweiler, is a genetically engineered Magnificent Bastard; with major emphasis on the bastard part..
    • And the whole affair is a giant, ultimately disposable front. For the actual government that is supposedly its thinly veiled puppet. Talk about a Double Blind.
    • Although Manpower is widespread and powerful, they are not alone in being a system spanning Mega corp. Kinder examples such as the Hauptman Cartel and Honor's own company. Not to mention the Mafia planets like Erewhon.
  • The novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood features many of these, most of which are bio-corporations or health 'care' industries. The employees of these corporations live in secure compounds, seperated from the ordinary city, which they believe is dangerous and disease-riddled. These Megacorporations also have their own security corps, the Corpsecorps, which has replaced ordinary law enforcement and is a commercial and very corrupt company.
  • Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM (roughly translated as "The Corporation of Honest Profit Traders")), Dune. They control all interstellar business in the Imperium except for star travel.
    • Regarding the last part: The major stockholders of CHOAM consist of the Emperor, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood and... the Spacing Guild.
      • CHOAM has the curious distinction of being a mega corp in a feudal society. The main indication of political power among the nobility is the possession of CHOAM stock and directorships.
        • The Guild could actually be considered a mega-corporation in its own right(beyond the fact they have a sizeable stock, the exact figure never given, but probably a third, in CHOAM) - CHOAM controls trade, but guild ships are required to move anything out of a particular system, and they have an absolute monopoly on spaceships, and are the only organisation who can travel in space, and as such are tremendously rich and powerful.
  • Jennifer Government has two giant corporate alliances, US Alliance and Team Advantage, that cover the strongest and second strongest corporations of every trade, respectively. Any independent companies have long since gone bankrupt.
  • The Thursday Next books have the Goliath Corporation, which produces everything "from cradles to coffins." They're also more or less the main villains of the series.
  • The dystopian society featured in Eoin Colfer's The Supernaturalist is controlled by real companies. Buick have laser satellites, Pepsi has a private army, and so on.
    • And they all have commando-lawyer strike teams. Seriously.
  • The concept is a heavily examined theme in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars Trilogy, where modern multinational corporations successively evolve into 'transnational corporations' (transnats) and then 'metanational corporations' (metanats, richer and powerful than most nations on earth) over the first two books before they effectively collapse in the face of a global catastrophe and worldwide uprisings near the end of the second book.
  • Morning Star Cartel (a Meaningful Name) in A Game of Universe is a global corporation that became a interplanetary and then an interstellar corporation, thanks to the founder making A Deal with the Devil.
  • Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein. The Venus Corporation, which controls the entire planet.
    • In Robert A. Heinlein's Friday, the Shipstone corporation owns, by the protagonist's own accounting, pretty much everything on Earth—to the point where it controls nuclear weapons and uses them on countries that piss it off; and its internal "power struggles" are resolved by mass assassination. It is made clear that Territorial States don't stand a real chance against Corporate States.
    • The main plot of Magic, Inc. is about the eponymous corporation taking over all magical dealings first in the city, then the state and the entire US. The heroes find out that it is a literal evil corporation when they discover that the founder and CEO is a high ranking demon from hell.
  • Used and subverted with Event Horizon from the "Mindstar" sci-fi detective series by Peter F. Hamilton. Although mega corporations are more powerful than governments, the young and patriotic CEO Julia Evans keeps most of her industry in Britain to provide work and a strong economy, rather than subcontracting out to cheaper Pacific Rim countries. Of course, this also increases Event Horizon's power and influence within Britain. Hamilton's later novel "Fallen Dragon" reverts to the traditional trope with Earth dominated by five mega-corporations which wield almost unlimited power and increase their profits by using their private army and spacefleet to asset-strip the offworld colonies they helped establish.
  • Cowles Industries, from the Dream Park series by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, subverts the connotations of this. Huge? Check. Multidisciplinary? Check. Consider themselves above the law? Check. Manipulate people with subliminal messages? Check and Double-check. Good guys? Also check.
  • In the Alternate History classic "For Want of a Nail" by Robert Sobel, the company Kramer Associates directly runs the Phillippines and Taiwan along with influencing many of the great powers economically with holdings in the United States of Mexico, Japan, The Confederation of North America etc. Kramer Associates was the first to develop the Atomic Bomb in the 1960s. The notable thing about "For Want of a Nail" is that it was written well before cyberpunk popularized the sovereign corporation trope.
  • J Corp in Tad Williams' Otherland is one of these. While not as large as some of the other examples (it has competitors), it's still big enough to own a private army, cofinance a project to build the world's most powerful computer network, and pretty much tell governments to piss off.
    • Helps that in this version of the future corporations hold seats in the American government, with the number of seats being determined by shares of the market.
  • The Syndicate Worlds from The Lost Fleet are an interstellar nation seemingly comprised of several Mega corps. Officers in the fleet are even referred to as CEOs.
  • Philip K. Dick loved this trope:
    • Trails of Hoffman Inc appeared in Lies Inc. The company offered teleport services to a far-off world. It was a one way ticket, no way home. But the company definitely had its fingers in other pursuits, and whatever they were doing on Whale Mouth was not what they claimed.
    • New Path in A Scanner Darkly also qualifies. Though it advertises as a rehab clinic for Substance D addicts, it actually grows the plants the drug is distilled from and is implied to have connections to law enforcement and other industries.
    • Ubik has several, which may control reality itself.
  • The Takeshi Kovacs novels subvert this trope, in that, while the setting is dominated by Mega corps, all of the human-inhabited universe ultimately answers to the despotic United Nations Protectorate, and is utterly terrified of it, to the extent that a planetary oligarchy is unwilling to ask for Protectorate aid in the suppression of a potentially world-consuming insurrection, for fear that the Protectorate may choose to take too close an interest in the planet.
  • The Chartered Zarathustra Company starts out owning the entire planet of Zarathustra in H. Beam Piper's "Fuzzy" novels. Although in the end The Federation turns out to be bigger than they are.
    • This is actually the standard Federation method of developing planets, as in Uller Uprising. Kwannon, in "Oomphel in the Sky", is an exception.
  • William Gibson is considered as the father of cyberpunk, it's only fitting that his novel contains mega-corporations. His novels gave us Tessier-Ashpool S.A., Maas Biolabs and Hosaka Corporation, among others. Real-life corporation such as Hibachi and Sony also make an appearance.
  • General Products from Larry Niven's Known Space series is the most famous company in the known universe.
  • The Bulero corporation in George Zebrowski's Macrolife.
  • Benevolent example: World Enterprises in The Man Who Fell to Earth starts with and specializes in electronics but quickly grows into this because its products are so innovative; it is actually able to launch a space program. The secret? The mysterious man at the top is actually an alien who brought his dying world's technology to Earth specifically to make enough money and obtain the resources needed to save the rest of his people, who will blend in with humanity as he has and positively influence it.
  • INITEC (Interstellar Nanoatomic Independent Terran Empire Corporation) in the Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures novel Original Sin. Its specialty is robotics, but it also produces weaponry (including the glitterguns that saw off the Cybermen) and spaceships. Oh, and it's run by a robot with the mind of Tobias Vaughn. Small surprise, considering the real significance of the corporation's name. Interstellar Nanoatomic is a Significant Anagram for International Electromatics.
  • Crysis: Legion claims that Hargreave-Rasch is so big and powerful that even real-world giants like Monsanto and Halliburton are small fry compared to it.
    • Uniquely enough (especially for a Peter Watts novel) is the fact that the entire corporation and its subsidiaries are secretly dedicated to one man's shadowed, century-long struggle to prepare humanity against an imminent conflict with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that he first came across at Tunguska. The corp is stated to own, among other assets, an Arecibo-sized radio telescope which it uses to scan the sky for something.
  • In Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy, the Galactic Cybersystems Corpotation used to be the primary provider of all cybernetics (from household robots to infantry droids and Humongous Mecha) for most of the known worlds. However, they reached their limit, and the heads of the corporation were afraid of a crackdown if they attempt to step beyond the legal and ethical norms imposed by The Federation. They decide to lay low for awhile, letting their competition make these steps and then come back when the laws and ethical norms have changed. It didn't quite work out this way, and Galactic Cybersystems disappeared virtually overnight due to over-consolidation (all R&D and production was done on a single planet known only to a few). The corporation was powerful enough to have its own Humongous Mecha and a private fleet. Later novels have many smaller corporations that qualify as Mega Corps by owning several worlds each, many of them striving to free themselves from the "oppressive" laws of The Federation (Does This Remind You of Anything?). One of these, under threat from a (deserved) crackdown, decides to strike out against The Federation and hold it hostage.
  • In The Unidentified by Rae Mariz, these corporations run schools. After the government ran out of money for schools, corporations bought old malls and turned them into schools, calling them "the Game". The schools are basically places for the teens to be marketed to and for them to test products.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse.
  • Blue Sun Corporation from Firefly, which makes just about any kind of consumer products you can name in the Verse and among other things may have been responsible for the Academy and what they did to River.
  • WeSaySo, Dinosaurs.
  • A recurring joke on Mystery Science Theater 3000 would name some fictional company (either featured in the movie or derived from someone's name) as "a subsidiary of ConHugeCo."
    • In the series' finale Gypsy appears to have founded a Mega Corp of her own, "ConGypsCo"
  • Also from Mystery Science Theater 3000: Novacorp, from the episode "Overdrawn At The Memory Bank."
    • And Gencorp from Time Chasers.
  • Max Headroom placed the television networks, and Zik Zak, into this role.
  • Massive Dynamic on the show Fringe. When your slogan is "What do we do? What don't we do?" that should be a major hint to anyone
    • In an unusual subversion, they're not particularly evil or corrupt, just ocasionally secretive. They usually cooperate with the FBI investigations and offer valuable resources for most cases, and their head, Nina Sharp, is a classic case of a Red Herring (in that she's never guilty of anything, and is usually just trying to help). There is, however, to consider the alarmingly high number of evil bioweapons, immoral experiments and Mad Scientists that were once part of their research, before being closed down, dismissed or fired from the company.
  • Vexcor in Charlie Jade is the largest and most prominent of the five Mega Corps that run the Dystopian parallel world the protagonist is from.
  • Veridian Dynamics of Better Off Ted is at least almost there.

"And we never part with money unless a more powerful nation forces us to, and there are only three of those left."

  • Gracen & Gracen of Profit.
  • Globo Chem of Mr. Show with Bob and David.
  • Captain Sheridan makes an offhand reference to "Disneyplanet" in Babylon 5, implying that the Walt Disney Company is dabbling in planetary government by the 23rd century.
    • Edgars Industries, "the biggest biochemical conglomerate on Mars." William Edgars specifically enlightens Garibaldi about the real power in the Alliance. One of the major reasons Clark is giving Psi Corps extraordinary powers is because he is worried of the amount of control exerted by the Mega corps and want to return the power to the politicians... well specifically to him.

William Edgars: The Megacorporations have been in charge for years.

  • In DAAS Kapital the world was run by the corporation-government Shitsu Tonka, which has declared history officially over and all art dangerous.
  • How I Met Your Mother, has the company that Barney works for, Altrucel. They are implied to make all sorts of weapons for war, but want people to remember they make the yellow fuzzy stuff on tennis balls. Altrucel later acquired an ailing Mega corp, the fictional Goliath National Bank.
  • The Colbert Report: Stephen often shills for The Prescott Group. A shady conglomorate with companies such as Prescott Pharmaceutical, Prescott Oil and Prescott Finance.
  • Total Recall 2070 has each branch of industry apparently dominated by a single Megacorporation each. Rekall does information technology, Uber Braun robotics (and androids), Minacon produces energy and raw materials and so on.
    • Interestingly, Uber Braun may be based off real-world consumer electronics company Braun, which is now part of real-world mega corporation Proctor & Gamble, so maybe Truth in Television?
  • Kings features CrossGen, a corporation so powerful that its backing can (and has) unilaterally put someone on the throne of Gilboa. During the course of the series, its CEO makes other demonstrations of its vast power, singlehandedly bringing the nation to the verge of bankruptcy and blacking out half the countryside with a single phone call.
  • LuthorCorp on Smallville has been in the hands of one Corrupt Corporate Executive after another, going from Lionel Luthor to Lex Luthor to Tess Mercer and back to Lex. Under all of them it has performed illegal activities and conducted human experimentation. In the Alternate Universe of Earth-2, Lionel was able to fuse the corporation with the Metropolis underworld, essentially letting him Take Over the World.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day has Phicorp, a major pharmaceutical company, which later starts pretty much running most of the world. Of course, it's later revealed that Phicorp is actually innocent, as one of its chief executives has no idea what's going on. In fact, the entire thing is being run by the Families who have somehow grown from three mobster groups to running the world.
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Tech Con Group, a major conglomerate on Hebridan that makes a wide range of products, owns the planet's major TV station, and runs a lottery. They are not specifically referred to as evil, though.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl, you play bomb-throwing teenage anarchists in a Dystopia with an Authority that is out to personally destroy them. Groups who choose to play with a Corporate Authority frequently create evil megacorps.
  • Hudson-Cosmos, Stahl, Phi, Trilex Pharmaceuticals and... too many others to name, in Cosmopol. Most people are not aware that Hudson-Cosmos and Stahl actually outright own almost all of the other companies and the entire cities that they are based in.
  • Pentex, in the Old World of Darkness. They're a front for the embodiment of entropy and its efforts to poison the entire universe. They have hands in everything from fast food to toys to pharmaceuticals to energy to firearms—in fact, most people in the setting don't even know Pentex exists, or if it does, that it's simply an independent entity without any ties to its constituent companies.
    • The New World of Darkness has the Cheiron Group from Hunter: The Vigil, a gigantic multinational organization that controls a dozen front businesses. One of those departments hunts, captures and studies supernatural creatures, both to find new product possibilities and to utilize their powers (by harvesting bits of them) for the company's own use. Their employees are given a handbook containing near-useless information as their only guide to what they're dealing with, so turnover is insane (giving the player characters a job opening).
  • Warhammer 40,000 has several interesting examples. Economic cartels like the De Vayne incorporation are more powerful that most governments on provincial worlds, they have private armies and small fleets to their name, more than enough to conquer a backwater world. However, all that power to nothing compared to that of the feudal orders of the Imperium.
  • Shadowrun has ten Mega corps that produce nearly all the goods and services one can find in 2070.
    • Interesting in that real-world corporations such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart are included in the Shadowrun universe, but are decidedly inferior in size and influence compared to any several dozen other businesses.
    • It's established in the Backstory that the Grid Crash in 2029 massively weakened the existing corporations and made them very vulnerable to aggressive newcomers as well as forcing mergers and buyouts that made the Big 10 what they are.
      • BMW was bought outright by the great Dragon Lofwyr and formed the early backbone of Saeder-Krupp.
      • Ford and most of the other American auto companies were bought or merged with Ares.
      • Sony is still fairly strong in Japan, but has shrunk to the status of a regional company that has spent the last few decades just barely avoiding being bought out or taken over.
      • Microsoft was almost killed overnight during the Crash but managed to hang on as the third tier cyberdeck software maker Microdeck (still run by the Gates family too); the third edition even made a plot hook out of them and possible ties to the Otaku. The company heir-to-be has been exploring the Matrix since his infancy. One story posted by a Shadowland runner says that he struck up a virtual relationship with her; for several weeks, he knew the exact right things to say, the right buttons to press to come across as her ideal man, etc., until she finally broached the idea of meeting in person. At that point, he abruptly ended the relationship and ceased contact. Pissed off at being played for a fool, she spent months tracking him down, eventually discovering that he was a pale, teenaged boy who had spent almost his entire life in the Matrix with absolutely no physical social experience. He had spent weeks studying everything about her on the Matrix and used that information to construct the persona of her perfect man, but panicked at the idea of speaking to her in person. Out of pity and/or disgust, she left him alive.
  • Interstellar corporations in Traveller, such as GSbAG, Hortalez et Cie, Sternmetal Horizons, Ling-Standard Products and SuSAG.
    • Traveller Megacorporations make good foils, and can potentially add drama to a Free Trader centered game. Alternatively in a court intrigue centered game they can be among the things a PC princeling has to take account of. The nobility and the Mega corporations are interlaced subtlely just as the nobility are interlaced with the Imperial government.
  • The Alternity game's Star*Drive setting. The following Stellar Nations, which controlled large regions of space, all fall under this category: Austrin-Ontis Unlimited, Insight, the Rigunmor Star Consortium, the Starmech Collective, and Voidcorp.
    • Although not all to the same degree- Austrin-Ontis have gone so far into One Nation Under Copyright that they are more nation than copyright these days, whereas Voidcorp is all about Profit.
  • In SLA Industries, the eponymous Mega Corp effectively constitutes a state; its numerous subsidiaries (some big enough to be Mega Corps in their own right) compete with each other in a kind of internal market. Real competitors Thresher Inc and DarkNight Industries are corporations in name only, operating as paramilitaries opposed to SLA.
  • The Crysalis Corporation from Cthulhu Tech, a game best described as an unholy lovechild of the Cthulhu Mythos and Neon Genesis Evangelion. The corporation produces everything from household supplies to military hardware. In addition it secretly strives to dominate the world, supplying various cults and terrorist organisations and creating mutated creatures to fight for it. Furthermore, its CEO is actually an avatar of the god Nyarlatothep disguised as a mortal man. Talk about a Corrupt Corporate Executive!
  • Tabletop Game/The Dungeons & Dragons setting of Eberron has the 13 Dragonmarked Houses, Dungeon Punk equivalent to Mega Corps, each with their own specializations (Entertainment & Espionage, Banking, Consummer Goods, Private Security, Animal Breeding, Notary, Prospecting, Magical Detections, Overland Travel & Teleportation, Overseas & Air Travel, Hostelling, Healing). Each house descends from a bloodline blessed with a dragonmark, a unique set of birthmarks that grant them powers and skill bonuses relating to a particular theme. Each family used their advantage to corner the market on a particular good or service, as no non-dragonmarked could really match them.
    • Elsewhere in D&D, the Mystara setting's Minrothad Guilds are an entire nation, made up of several islands, that's organized like a huge corporation. Each island, and each race that lives there, operates like a manufacturing division of the company, while the fully-incorporated "service guilds" are the equivalent of government departments (defense, etc).
  • Hard-science RPG Blue Planet has several Mega Corporations that are states unto themselves called Incorporate States. Given that Earth itself is a Crapsack World in the Blue Planet universe, the Incorporate are very interested in the colony of Poseidon where the game is set.
  • In Mutant Chronicles, the big powers of the solar system are called "mega corps" and fit pretty well with this trope, but in a slight aversion they have by now evolved into Feudal Future noble houses of a sort. Exceptions are Capitol, which is still technically a corporation, and hence a democracy of sorts - you have one vote per piece of stock you own, and the company president serves basically the same role as an American president. There's also Cybertronic which is focuses on creating electronics and cybernetics, it does have bits of an Orwellian society style.
  • In Eclipse Phase the mega corps that were unable to adjust to a post-scarcity economy died out while those that could evolved into the Hypercorps. Most are small and decentralized, often existing wholly in Cyberspace (as labor is almost fully automated), but hold a great deal of influence in the Inner System. Mars is run wholesale by the Planetary Consortium, which poses as a republican democracy, but whose power is divided proportionally among the hypercorps who own shares in it. Venus used to be under Consortium rule until the habitats formed the Morningstar Constellation almost by accident.
  • Exalted has a high fantasy example in The Guild, a vast trading concern that uses mercenaries and assassins to dispose of its rivals, is the world's biggest trader in narcotics and slaves, sells live humans by the thousands to the Fair Folk who devour their minds for food. And because that wasn't evil enough, they buy the emotionless unfeeling husks back from the Fair Folk so they can be resold as obedient manual labourers.
    • The Guild also distributes medicine (when it's profitable), and by selling the soul-eating trickster fairies meals, they hold back a second Balorian Crusade...well, except the one time they nearly started it, but that was an accident.
  • Cyberpunk 2020, of course, with Arasaka and Mili Tech as the two most prominent examples, the former pure evil and the latter unscrupulous but not as evil.

Videogames[edit | hide]

  • Where do we start with Borderlands? Let's see now, the one that's probably coming to your mind now is Atlas. They make powerful firearms, maintain a private army outfitted with said guns and other Atlas Artillery, and control most of Pandora, notably T-Bone Junction.[1] Then there's the Hyperion Corporation, who owns the New-U and Catch-A-Ride stations, the Guardian Angel Satellite, Dahl Corporation, who also makes guns, (Unlike Atlas, they have an inspiring and awesome Badass Creed. Also, they're the largest weapons producer on Pandora.) claptrap repair kits, wind turbines, and can finance the mining operations for an entire colony which, by the way, the also financed themselves.[2] Jakobs, aside from making Wild West-ish hunting-quality sniper rifles, high-power revolvers, and shotguns seems to be in on the colony supply industry, making prefab housing and fuel tanks, and made a small town for the workers employed to make their guns. Tediore, like everyone else here, also makes firearms, including Outrunner artillery. We're not sure what Maliwan, S&S, Vladof, and Torgue do, though logic states that Maliwan, considering their involvement in incendiary weapons, may have had something to do with climate control in the cold years of Pandora.
  • The Caldari State from the EVE Online universe. The entire faction is composed of a handful mega corporations. All aspects of society are run by the corporation. Citizens are born into a corporation and effectively work there for life. Getting fired is not much different that getting shunned from society.
    • All the other space-based corps are also mega corps of varying shadiness from "very" to "not much" and wield significant pull; a group of Gallente megas recently stood up against an attempted government takeover and succeeded.
  • Ratchet and Clank - The Trope Namer is Ratchet and Clank Going Commando's Mega corp, which controls much of the Bogon Galaxy, and sells highly destructive weapons to anyone with enough coin. Along with anything else. (But don't worry, all of their products are tested and 100% safe.)
    • Along with Gadgetron (Solana Galaxy), Vox Industries (Shadow Sector), and Grummel Net (Polaris Galaxy). Slight subversion in that just about every game has at least ONE Mega Corp, but they're not necessarily the same Mega Corp - they just control different galaxies / portions of space thereof.
  • Crey Corporation in City of Heroes. One bit of dialogue says that they have products in 90% of Paragon City's homes. Indeed, they're so large, they're able to fund their own massive army of "security personnel." One thing that doesn't quite make sense, though, is how they were able to achieve this level of market saturation in what is suggested to be maybe a decade at the most (extreme corruption notwithstanding).
  • Shinra in Final Fantasy VII, which produces electric power, military hardware, Materia, and automobiles, among other things.
  • The Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil. Their front is a pharmaceutical company, but their business plan consists of "Let's inject this zombie potion into an animal and see what happens." while giving OSHA the finger.
    • Notably, when the government finally had evidence of Umbrella's misdeeds in the Time Skip before Resident Evil 4, they destroyed the company by freezing their business practices, crashing their stock price and driving them into bankruptcy.
  • The Crimson Corporation, in Star Control 2, owns everything on all Druuge planets. If you get fired, breathing becomes theft of corporate property and grounds for execution.
    • Furthermore, they are the extreme example when it comes to considering your employees expendable. Druuge ships can reload their power supplies by throwing extra crew members into the ship's reactors. In the game this translates to being able to sacrifice hitpoints to restore power.
  • Morgan Industries, from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, owns an entire faction of the game. It's also a Shout-Out to Microsoft: compare MS's nineties slogan "Where do you want to go today?" with Morgan Industries' "Where do you want your network node today?" An "economic victory," achieved by cornering the energy market (requiring an initial expenditure of enough energy to have used mind control on the entire planet and taking twenty years), which can theoretically be achieved by anyone, would be an even more extreme version.
  • Bokamba-Mercer in The Longest Journey, which even operates the police department. "Our duty is to protect, serve, and inform you about the marvelous new products available from Bokamba-Mercer!"
    • TLH also has Bingo! corporation and, in the sequel, WATIcorp.
  • If GLaDOS is to be believed, Aperture Science from Portal. The Aperture-branded cans of beans found in secluded places throughout the game would seem to support this theory.
    • Also in the same 'verse; hardly anybody important in the Half-Life universe apart from Chell not worked for Black Mesa at some point?
    • One of the slides from a projector in a meeting room shows that Black Mesa clearly controls the market that they are competing for. It insinuated that Aperture Science has high goals but never actually delivers.
  • The World Economic Consortium, bad guys in the Crusader series, are the Mega Corp—a conglomeration of several economic bodies who themselves rose to power and prominence as traditional governments failed in their area at the end of the twenty-first century. The WEC extracts everything, refines everything, manufactures everything, packages everything, sells everything, employs everyone. And they brook no red ink in the bottom line.
  • EuroCorp of Syndicate, one of a number of global mega-corporations powerful enough to control whole areas of the globe and maintain covert(ish) cyborg agents with no fear of law enforcement. EuroCorp are a minor player in this field at the start of the first game, but by the end they own the entire world, and in Syndicate Wars they've been ruling the world for some time.
  • The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) from the Doom series, whose experiments in teleportation technology were responsible for all Hell literally breaking loose.
    • By Doom 3 one of their catch phrases is "The UAC is making safer worlds through superior firepower."
  • TriOptimum from System Shock, where the "tri" stands for military/science/consumer... that's an evil combination in any sci-fi setting. Mega-corporations dominated the System Shock world in general and national governments were very weak, but the corporations were greatly undermined by the events of the game. The world population rose against the massive corporate corruption responsible for the Citadel Station scandal and reinstalled The Government as the Unified National Nominate to regulate what remains. By the time of the second game, TriOptimum was on its last financial legs before an employee invented a working faster-than-light drive. In predictable corporate fashion, as many corners were cut from the ship built around the drive, to the point where the engines leaked constantly. Then the captain brought some alien life forms on board. And you, a UNN soldier, have to fix all of this.
  • The Guilds in Tales of Vesperia are like this; but are actually one of the rare benign/benevolent versions, showing us that Tropes Are Tools. The various guilds appear to own their own land and cities, one of which rivals the capital city, but it's implied that Guild members aren't actually empire citizens, so they practically govern their own lands that don't fall inside the Empire's jurisdiction. Whenever they're in the empire it's typically to conduct business. The two factions rarely work together; but when they do, they literally build an entire town in only a matter of days. In a further subversion of the trope; the guilds are actually all headed by people who want profit, but actually aren't bad people with the exception of Barbos. Even Yeager, who is a minor antagonist who is implied to have two guilds under his thumb, has redeeming qualities, too.
    • A small version of this trope is seen in Tales of the Abyss with Chesedonia. Chesedonia is pretty much a neutral land that most people go to conduct business and trade in. Despite an apparent lack of government, they seem to do a pretty good job of handling themselves, it's implied that Astor, the richest man in the city, is able to run things when necessary. In this game; the Mega Corp actually is merely an implication and is more of a third-party, along with Daath.
  • The various goblin cartels in World of Warcraft are Dungeon Punk versions of the Mega Corp, offering all variety of arms, Applied Phlebotinum, and services equally to all comers.
    • The Steamwheedle cartel is the largest of the goblin cartels, and has a huge monopoly on goblin business.
      • Despite being the largest, they're actually a little more...benevolent than most Mega Corps often are; as they're often giving the players jobs and money. The only way they would be out to kill the player character is if they decide to join the Bloodsail Bucaneers or PvP inside the neutral zones. (Course, most of the people who did this were Griefers...)
    • And then there's Venture Co, who are a much less morally ambiguous version of this trope. They're strip mining the mountains, polluting a few of the only oases in the Barrens, and, if you do the rogue quests, are developing a necromantic plague that will ensure its workers are efficient and compliant by turning them into zombies.
    • The Cataclysm expansion introduces the neutral-turned-Horde aligned Bilgewater cartel (well, it was mentioned in one small blurb in an RPG book before), who are another rival corporation to the Steamwheedle cartel (even in footballbomb). They controlled the entirety (as far as what you can visit) of the goblins' home island of Kezan, which was covered in massive factories. After losing two zones to volcanoes, they industrialize and/or strip mine most of Azshara, and many other smaller locations (for the Horde, of course).
  • World Of Goo Corporation in, of course, World of Goo. Their products are vague and their landfills are sinister.
  • The Ultor Corporation from Saints Row 2 and Red Faction. It is also heavily implied that Saints Row is in the same timeline as Red Faction making the two Ultor Corporations one and the same.
  • The Mishima Zaibatsu and the G Corporation from Tekken.
  • F.E.A.R.'s Armacham Technology Corporation is a company primarily focused on aerospace technology and weapons development. However, said weapons development programs include armies of cloned supersoldiers and telepathic commanders, and ATC itself maintains a series of massive underground bunkers and a private army that could probably take over a medium-sized country if it felt like it. A company with the same name and logo appears in the video game Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. It is also heavily implied that Shogo is in the same timeline as F.E.A.R. making the two Armacham Corporations one and the same.
    • The third game in the series gives a good look at the scale that Armacham operates on. The first two levels take place in an unspecified Latin American country where ATC operates a huge private prison, and ATC mercenaries walk the streets of the city in full uniform with armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and heavily-armed robotic weapons platforms engaging in a running gun battle witht he Point Man with total disregard for the local population. Later on, ATC has an entire army occupying the city of Fairport where the first two games took place.
  • RED and BLU, the two mysterious organizations players in Team Fortress 2 work for, apparently each own one half of the world and are fronted by various companies, their main hubs being demolitions (RED) and construction (BLU). Further complicating the matter is the fact that the woman officiating the conflict not only owns and operates a weapons manufacturing corporation of her own, but is also the CEO of both RED and BLU, putting her in control of every government on the planet. It's All There On The Official Website.
  • In Tachyon: The Fringe the mega corp GalSpan "The Galactic Spanning Corporation" does not have a monopoly on every product ever made, but it certainly eclipses the other companies featured. Those smaller ones make the parts of your ship. Galspan doesn't worry about such trivialities, despite maintaining it's own military fleet; they mine stars. For the main section of the campaign, they are one of your two options to take for exclusive employment as a contract pilot, and through morally dubious means, their game ending is the only way your character can ever return back to Earth. Post-game Bora missions put you through some rigamarole towards the effect, but this troper has never found any definite mission or clue in the audio files that say the Bora get you back to Earth again.
  • Concordance Extraction Company from Dead Space specializes in cracking entire planets open to get at the raw materials inside. Thankfully there's no alien plagues that resurrect dead people into twisted monstrosities out there, and they hire well-trained, albeit nontalkative staff people capable of using every tool at their disposal.
    • It actually looks to be a rather okay business, and would've stayed that way had it not been for the Earth Military and their experiments and the Unitologists pulling strings and messing the business up.
    • CEC was running at least one massive mining op on the distant, closed-off planet of Aegis VII, and they knew full well just how illegal it was. The planet was forbidden with good reason.
  • The Kirijo Group in Persona 3. Company high school, hospital, police...they're also a Yakuza clan, but in Japan there isn't really that much of a difference.
  • The Ground Control universe had several of these but the most prominent one was the Crayven who was the main pusher for colonisation, had a military force that rivalled (or even surpassed) the government of Earth, produced pretty much everything and had more or less free reign in the frontier colonies.
    • In addition to that, their leadership was ruthless, uncaring and dabbled with ancient and potentially deadly alien technology with little heed to its results.
      • Another Mega Corp called Wellby-Simms is mentioned in the background. Crayven bought its weapons from Wellby-Simms and Ground Control 2 implies that of all the original Mega corps, Wellby-Simms was the only one that managed to survive the rise of The Empire by turning itself from a weapons manufacturer to a manufacturer of industrial and mining supplies.
      • All There in the Manual: not only is the government of Earth at the time of the first Ground Control essentially a council of Mega Corps, the Order of the New Dawn is - legally speaking - one as well.
  • Omni-Tek from the MMORPG Anarchy Online.
  • The FutureTech Corporation in Red Alert 3. In the original Red Alert 3, it is simply mentioned in the background for being the company responsible for technologies such as the Mirage Tank and the Chronosphere. In Uprising, they are a minor faction in their own right and are implied to be in near-complete ownership of the Allied military as well as being engaged in a conspiracy under the Allies' nose.
  • Armored Core, where every faction you work for (except for your mercenary organization, a terrorist group, or the mercenaries themselves) are these. According to the backstory, in most of the continuities, the corporations also serve as the government.
    • For an example, in the first series is Chrome, with its Chemicaldyne subsidiary. Opposed by another Mega Corp, Murakumo Millennium, who has no qualms about contracting a terrorist group, known as Struggle, to carry out their plans. A third, smaller company called ProgTech is introduced in Master of Arena, but is shown to be a benevolent actor as opposed Chrome and Murakumo.
    • Armored Cores 2 and Another Age introduce their successors, Zio Matrix, Emeraude, and Balena corporation. Unlike the rest of the series, The Government has re-asserted itself in the 2 games, so the corporations aren't as all-powerful as they once were, but they still get away with waging unchecked wars against one another. Zio Matrix even goes to war against itself, when Zio Matrix Mars goes rogue and Zio Matrix Earth obliterates it.
    • The third series continuity sees Crest, Mirage, and Kisaragi. At first suppressed and kept in check by a supercomputer AI, they grew large (well, Crest and Mirage does, Kisaragi crushed in-between) after they broke free in Silent Line, Nexus introduces a new corporation, and Last Raven sees all companies band into one.
    • The fourth in the series has the various companies destroy the various nations of the world in what is known as the National Dismantlement War and establish "Pax Economica", where survival depends on peoples' loyalty to a company. Ten years after that, in For Answer, they form the League of Ruling Companies, which still basically rules the world and has these companies band together to become a single superpower, in theory, at least.
  • Czerka Corporation from Knights of the Old Republic, shown as almost always being on the bad-side, and they're pretty much too big for Authorities to handle and police themselves.
  • ExoGeni Corporation and Binary Helix, two human MegaCorps in Mass Effect fall under this trope perfectly. During the course of the game, Shepard discovers that ExoGeni let its employees get possessed by a malevolent Starfish Alien just to study what the effects would be, and when things got out of control decided to kill everyone involved and erase all the evidence. Binary Helix, meanwhile, discovered a cryogenically-frozen rachni egg on a derelict spaceship. Two thousand years earlier, the Council races fought a centuries-long war aganst the rachni and were finally forced to commit genocide to end it. Binary Helix decided to breed new rachni soldiers and market them as a superweapon for the Big Bad; the solution once they inevitably rebelled was to kill everyone involved and erase all the evidence. Both corporations are linked to the human-supremacist well intentioned extremists/complete monsters organisation Cerberus.
    • Mass Effect: Ascension introduced us to the Eldfell-Ashland Energy Consortium, one of Cerberus' shell companies and responsible for multiple "accidental" in-utero exposures to element zero. About 10% of foetuses exposed develops biotics; 30% develop fatal cancers.
    • Mass Effect 2 gives us Elkoss Combine, a volus Mega Corp which produces, amongst other items, weapons, food, omni-tools, medical and beauty products. An ad on Illium advises users of one of their beauty products that uses sonic waves to cease using it immediately. Another ad mentions one of their weapons, which also uses sonic waves. Even better - Those two are the same ad, and its implied that the beauty project and the weapon are one and the same.
  • The Shai-Gen Corporation from Crackdown and also the Agency itself.
  • Houses in Imperium Nova can seem more like this than feudal nobles. Especially those operating in the mercantile, transportation, technology, financial, geological, or military spheres.
    • To be more specific, in most Feudal Futures a house owns a planet or an area on a planet, in this game houses only rule planets if they enter the Politics sphere and have one of their members (or more often hired retainers) run for senate. In addition houses can build facilities on any planet within range of their homeworld. When you add that in at least one galaxy The Emperor is an elected position the eponymous imperium sounds more and more like a Federation run by corporations, like the U.S. except the CEOs have titles like "Duke" or "Marquis" and are allowed private armies.
  • Dystopia has Datatrust, a mysterious corporation that has even demonstrated control over the development team.
  • Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere features this in the form of General Resource Ltd. and Neucom Inc., who are at war with each other at the start of the game. The series returned to national conflict setup with 04, but chillingly, 5, Zero, and particularly Advance gives General Resource a Start of Darkness, having them start from a humble arms company called South Belkan Munitions Factory, later Grunder Industries. Neucom, meanwhile, started off as the Erusean Air and Space Administration, the clandestine organization behind the high-tech gadgetry of Eruseans in the aforementioned 04, including the famed superfighter X-02 Wyvern.
  • The Big Bad in Fur Fighters sent up his own vast Mega Corp at some point and it's shown throughout the game at many points doing many different things. Presumably Viggo got the money for everything from getting advanced technology from the dinosaurs (don't ask) and then decided to bid massive air-craft-carries and submarines to conquer the world.
  • The Post-Terran Mining Corporation in Descent. All they do is mining, but they control dozens (that we see) of incredibly large mines in at least eight star systems (likely more). They also have their own mercenary force, which is large enough that the combined Sol System military considers it a legitimate threat.
  • Raptor : Call Of The Shadows? Your employer is even called Mega corp, and they run a private airforce, sending you against other corporations armed with the usual Shoot'Em Up hordes of enemies.
  • The Zaibatsu Corporation from GTA2. They are a massive multinational Pharmaceutical Company with prominence all over Anywhere City (and the world), they sell all sorts of products, have their own marked company cars, and even a small military who's weaponry ranges from Pistols to Rocket Launchers. They also get a mention in GTA 3, advertising various products on the radio, though not yet as large as they are in GTA2.
  • The Tokugawa Conglomerate in Policenauts.
  • In the Zork games, by the end of the reign of King Dimwit Flathead the Excessive, every single zorkmid of commerce in the entire country was controlled by Frobozz Co and its various subsidiaries, which were all named The Frobozz Magic <Insert Product Name> Company, which was run by Dimwit's younger brother, John D. Flathead.
  • SynTek Megacorporation Incorporated from Alien Swarm. They own an entire star system, including several mining colonies, a penal colony, and a space station. They also own several planets and mining colonies outside their star system and several fleets of starships used to transport employees (dubbed colonists) and materials to and from their colonies. Ontop of that, they make everything from medical supplies, to food and drink, to weapons. There is also United Industries and the Telic Corporation, both of which are just as big as SynTek.
  • SynTek is also the name of the villainous Mega Corp in SiN and SiN Episodes: Emergence.
  • Deus Ex has Page Industries, a true Mega Corp with major roles in (at least) network communications, space mining, and heavy manufacturing; and its subsidiary Versalife, a massive pharmaceutical company with political power because it's patented the cure to The Plague which it also produces. These accumulated their power, technology, and R&D expertise as arms of The Illuminati before their owner, Bob Page, splintered off to pursue his own ends.
    • Sarif Industries in Deus Ex Human Revolution is close but not quite a Mega Corp, as it loses in the bio-augmentation market to Tai Yong Medical, who has cornered the market and has performed a lot of illegal research. The latter also has ties to the Illuminati.
      • Mods for DX The Nameless Mod and 2027 feature WorldCorp and Human Horizon. In TNM you can either join or fight WorldCorp. Human Horizon in 2027 is hunting you down for a better part of the game.
  • Assassin's Creed gives us Abstergo, a pharmaceutical company on the surface which functions as the modern day front for an Ancient Conspiracy. Lucy Stillman mentions that her inability to be taken seriously after she finished college - and thus her inability to find a job until she was approached by Abstergo - was likely a series of failures specifically designed by them so she would have nowhere else to go for employment. She further assures Desmond that while this may sound ridiculous, they can do it. They also trace Desmond via his motorcycle's registry, apparently without going through the police.
    • This is taken even further in the sequel, where through a series of mad revelations, you gradually find out that Abstergo, under one name or another, has been manufacturing all important technological or political progress for centuries.
  • Whiplash has Genron, which produces the main characters, a crazed weasel chained to a Nigh Invincible rabbit, through animal testing. Your job is to bankrupt the company by smashing everything in sight.
  • The Hadden Corporation, source of paranormal-detection gadgets in the Dark Fall game series. Not nearly as big as most examples, yet its director's influence over events is vastly out of proportion to this company's modest size due to his apparent access to prophetic powers and/or time travel.
  • The Patriots of Metal Gear Solid fame count as this. They are a secret organization that runs the American Government from behind the scenes deciding everything from who gets elected into Congress to who gets to be the President of the United States and have a firm control of the CIA and the Pentagon who conduct their secret Military operations and projects funded with massive stashes of secret cash that can't be tracked by the legal government. They control all the media that the American people consume, everything from literature, TV, movies, and Internet is all filtered by them for your enjoyment and have all the major corporations in their back pockets which influence the government and the average citizen. They are also implied to have international reach as they have secret bases which are mentioned in the story in China and Russia. Not to mention all the technological achievements they have accomplished, they have engineered clones from Big Boss's DNA which Solid Snake and his two brothers are the result of, have conducted genetic engineering which is capable of improving a human being into a super soldier, created super-powered exoskeleton suits that are akin to Iron-Man that can give a man super-human strength and speed, and massive bi-pedal, walking, nuclear-launch capable battle tanks known as Metal Gears. Stuff like this would run the U.S Government's economy into the ground but the Patriots seem to have no trouble funding these projects.
  • Xenosaga, and by extension, Xenogears has Vector Industries (simply called "The Company" in the Xenogears Perfect Works book). Vector makes everything from starships to cellphones, has a branch on every inhabited planet in the galaxy, holds conciderable sway over both the local and federal governments of the Galaxy Federation, and has been around for (at least) 7000 years. They have a rival corporation called Hymas, but Vector actually owns them too!
  • BioShock (series) has Ryan Industries, Fontain Futuristics and Sinclair Solutions.
  • Nexus the Jupiter Incident has a number of Mega Corps, and the game's Backstory reveals a war between the corporations and the IASA, which the corporations won, essentially abolishing all regulation beyond the Moon. The protagonist, Marcus Cromwell, works for SpaceTech, a relatively minor Mega Corp. On one occasion, two OSEC ships ambush an IASA ship in deep space, proving that they can do whatever they want without repercussions. The most powerful Mega Corp is the Kissaki Syndicate, a Japanese corporation that has managed to make enormous advances in the recent years (thanks to Imported Alien Phlebotinum). The status of the Mega Corps is unknown after the events of the game.
  • Facebook's Wasteland Empires has Omega Corp. They were involved in pretty much everything before the Depopulation Bomb and released a virus that turned some of the population into slime coated mutants-in fact, they likely caused the destruction of the world in general.
  • The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind has House Hlaalu, a high fantasy megacorporation that belongs to the Dunmer royal house. The other Houses are less mercantile and don't resemble corporations, they are respectively a warrior aristocracy (Redoran), a feudal magocracy (Telvanni), a church (Indoril) and plantation slave owners (Dres).
  • Killer Instinct has Ultratech, a megacorporation that has replaced all world governments. They kidnap an alien to extort his participation in a fighting tournament, bring demons to earth from other dimensions, manufacture evil-looking military cyborgs, and are bioengineering a velociraptor-human hybrid, among other things.
  • The original Hyperdimension Neptunia had Avenir, which had the economy of Lastation so firmly under their control even their resident Goddess found it hard to outright deal with them especially since they worked rather hard to keep her in the dark about their shady side for awhile, even possessed such considerable considerable economic power they had factories churning out entire armies of Humungous Mecha that gave them the military power of a nation state. By the end of the game they still retain most of this power, but under the much more firm oversight of the Lastation CPU to much more benign ends.
    • The entire society of Gamindustri functions as a 70-30 mix of this and a Theocracy. The theocracy comes from the fact the Goddesses/Console Patron Units (CPUs) literally live or die based on the faith of the populace. The commercial aspect comes from the fact society is based on production of various video game hardware and software as government sanctioned enterprises (and which society is primarily geared towards supporting), to the point the lands of Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox are video game console companies and their associated developers, only with the power and functions of a nation state.
    • Oddly averted in Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, as the world of Gamarket more resembles four nation states, and each nation state has their own associated territories under the care of a general in a feudal lords and vassals arrangement.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Suburban Jungle had MegaHugeConGloMaCo, which was acquired by Amalgatronix Corporation. From the FAQ:

What does MegaHugeConglomaCo do, exactly?
They merge with, take over, or establish corporate relationships with other huge companies with similarly vague names.

  • The closest Freefall has is Ecosystems Unlimited. They control most of the colonized planet, own most of the robots, and even one of the main characters' species (and they owned her too until they sold her). This may be due to the planet not being totally terraformed yet, so it's not very populated, and E.U. has to be there for the terraforming to be done: It's their job, after all.
  • The Maytec Consortium of SSDD essentially owns California, has a standing army, and claimed all of Mars (until the Anarchists went there and found better mineral deposits). They're essentially the third greatest superpower in the solar system, due partially to their selling weapons to both sides of the CORE/Anarchist cold war.
  • Creed Corporation in Friendly Hostility and it's spin-off/sequel/thing Other Peoples Business
  • HeretiCorp from Sluggy Freelance.
    • The current arc deals with other corporations run by supervillains such as Nofun corp and Crushestro industries, though they are more specialized (mutagens and weapons in the case of the two stated.)
  • Sarah Zero has PISSS.
  • Mega Fun Food LLC from My Life at War is by inference a massive agriculture Mega Corp. They're wealthy enough to hire their own private army in the form of the 1st Investment Recovery Battalion.
  • Excalicorp in Arthur, King of Time and Space is a good Mega Corp, at least since Arthur started influencing policy. The strip doesn't directly state how big it is, but if you pay attention you'll notice that everything from computers to cars has a sword-in-the-stone logo.
  • Gencorp in Gengame seems to sell/produce everything we hear about or come across, to almost dystopian levels. However, because of the comic's generally light nature, this is more of a source of humor than anything.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Nexus Gate has the Kovolis Corperation.
  • Goodkind International, in the Whateley Universe. They make a big deal about taking care of the 'little people' and being a responsible corporation. But the CEO disinherited and disowned his own son when the boy became a mutant, and turned the kid over to a company mad scientist for experiments. Kind of makes you wonder about the company now...
    • Since they're also behind the highly anti-mutant "Humanity First!" organization and the main backer of the anti-mutant paramilitary Knight of Purity, as well major funders of the international Mutant Commission Office, we probably don't have to wonder all that much. It's pretty clear now.
  • BIOCOM of Broken Saints fame fits the bill.
  • Open Blue has Remillia, essentially a nation whose main political parties are basically competing Mega Corps.
  • Suzumiya Haruhi no Yaku-Asobi has TsuruyaCom, which spans multiple star systems in multiple dimensions. Its products include everything from interstellar warships, to smoked cheese, to clones, to dimensional gateways.
  • G-Corp from Gaia Online. Founded by death-fearing megalomaniac Johnny Gambino, and Badass Grandpa Edmund, G-Corp was responsible for a majority of Gaia's technological, scientific, and medical advances. Unfortunately, when Edmund left the company, things took a turn for the worse. Now everything G-Corp makes (from pet dinosaurs to hair growth formulas) has a penchant to go horribly, horribly wrong. (To put this in perspective, G-Corp has caused the Zombie Apocalypse twice. In fact, zombies seem to be their chief product). Ironically, G-Corp is actually the good company. The evil company is NeXus, run by Labtech X. NeXus's sole purpose is to provide X with the means to take over the world. Their most famous achievement is using G'hi to create a self-replicating, almost invincible army of Animated. They also build a cool Underwater Base, a Humongous Mecha, and a Scarf of Asskicking. G-Corp also has a copy in S-Corp, which consists of "Elftechs," and is owned by the Claus family.
  • The Triptych Corporation in Strange Little Band is an example of one of these.
  • Precision Horizons in Above Ground is an all-powerful corporation ruling the underground human community. The Guild plays a similar role on the surface of the planet.
  • JibJab's Big Box Mart counts in regards to big box stores like Wal-Mart and their negative effect on people
  • In Orion's Arm the solar system was ruled by Megacorporations led by transapient A Isup until the Nanodisaster. Now Archailects control most of the population of Terragen space but Mega Corps still have a great deal of influence in the Non-Coercive-Zone ([NoCoZo]) and the Periphery.
  • TOAST Industries, from the Netland series. A rare heroic, or at least protagonistic (that is, they're against universal annihilation) example.
  • Crockercorp from the new post-Scratch timeline in Homestuck. It's Betty Crocker expanded from baking goods to superscience, with handheld teleportation devices and telepathic personal computers. Rumors circulate that Betty Crocker herself is an evil alien "Batterwitch" controlling it all and trying to brainwash the population. They're right; she's actually Her Imperial Condescension from the trolls' ancestors' timeline.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Futurama has Mom-Corp, a massive company that seems to have stocks in everything and a hand in every business, from Mom's Friendly Robot Company, to Mom's Babies Your Packages, with the joke rapidly expanding. It got to the point where the plot of a video game was that Mom actually owned over 50% of the planet and was legally able to turn the Earth into a warship to take over the universe.
  • Conglom-O ("We Own You"), Rocko's Modern Life.
    • "They even own City Hall!"
      • Which isn't that impressive. In real life, the British Government asked a company to build some of its offices. The company owns the office, the Government rents. (The irony is that the Treasury occupies a building owned by a tax-dodging company with headquarters in a tax haven).
  • Xanatos's company in Gargoyles. He's the wealthiest man, with the tallest tower, and several other "-est"s. The scary part is that the comic series is busily subverting this trope, as Xanatos is a raw recruit in the Illuminati, the group that secretly runs the world.
  • Cobra in G.I. Joe: Renegades.
  • FleemCo, The Replacements. Evidently produces and/or runs absolutely everything the characters use.
  • There is little that Khan Industries from Tale Spin does not produce and/or sell. This Mega Corp has got the tallest skyscraper in Cape Suzette and even both a navy and an air force of its own.
  • Surely Acme, makers of innumerable Warner Bros. cartoon products, must qualify? Certainly they're the only company big enough to arrange Product Placement whenever the coyote makes a purchase.
  • Misery Inc. of Jimmy Two-Shoes. It's CEO, Lucius Heinous VII, is identified as the mayor of Miseryville on the Disney XD website, which still accuratly describes his position.
  • Depending on how one looks at it the Irken Empire of Invader Zim could be this, or at least striving to be.
  • Possibly lampshaded in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Got Game" where we see a company named "Megalocorp" in passing. Knowing the creators, it wouldn't be a surprise.
  • Alomst every product in King of the Hill is made by Mega-lo-Mart.


Other[edit | hide]

  • Globalsoft in the musical We Will Rock You. It has also become the government of the entire planet, which it has renamed Planet Mall.
  • The World Company in the French satirical puppet show Les Guignols de l'Info is a generic evil corporation in which every single Corrupt Corporate Executive is a dead ringer for Sylvester Stallone.
  • X-S Tech in the former Magic Kingdom attraction Alien Encounter.
  • Better Living Industries (BL/ind)


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Cracked gives us Six secret monopolies you didn't know run the world.
  • The British and Dutch East India Companies, as already noted in the Pirates of the Caribbean example above. Until the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857, the BEIC owned India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (all of which was simply called "India" at the time). The Dutch company owned Indonesia until 1800, when it went bankrupt. Both were among the very first joint-stock corporations, as well.
  • Depending on what you personally believe, The Church of Scientology can be viewed as an organization that, at least, aspires to achieve this.
    • Some have classified the Sea Org as a paramilitary organization, keep that in mind.
  • Disney maintains self-government over the large chunk of land in and immediately surrounding the Walt Disney World Resort (a.k.a. the "Reedy Creek Improvement District") in Florida. According to that other Wiki, "Within this district, the Disney corporation has the legal authority to establish its own building codes, power plants and utilities, fire departments, and to seize land outside the district under eminent domain." They do, however, still lack anything comparable to a standing army. Yet.
    • A citation for those who like such things. Disney does have that sort of legal authority but the Florida legislature can remove it.
  • The Hudson's Bay Company owned the vast majority of the land now known as western Canada up until the late 19th century. It acted as the de facto government for the area, issuing its own currency and enforcing a monopoly on trade. The company survives into the present day, though it's no longer the Mega Corp it once was, being best known as the owner of several Canadian department store chains. It lost its independence after being bought out by the Zucker family in 2006, having lasted for more than three hundred and thirty years.
  • Inco, subsidiary of the Brazilian mining company Vale, can sometimes look like an evil Mega Corporation right out of a Cyberpunk story. Richer than whole countries, it buys and takes lands away from their people to mine metals (mostly nickel), bribing politicians to pay the least possible amount in taxes and fees. Once on their land, the union and employment laws of the country do not even apply anymore, and things have sometimes gone so far that the company was removed from the FTSE 4 GOOD index for failing to meet their human rights criteria. It also created a lot of problem for the environment, for example their plan to let go of their acidic waste directly in the Unesco classed lagoon in new caledonia (a "coincidence" when the Unesco decided to enter the coral barrer reef on the World Heritage List means that the part where their waste pipeline leads is one of the few not under the protection of the List).
  • Russian company Transmashholding doesn't make everything but it does own all the locomotive, wagon, and other railway-related manufacturers, so it's only competing with itself. It acts like a cross between a close subsidiary and business partner of Russian Railways, itself technically a large corporation, albeit one owned by the government and whose president is a political appointee.
    • The New Russia is, in fact, chock full of Evil Mega Corps; during the 90's, they were bigger than the government. The most notorious is certainly Gazprom, which produces natural gas used to heat most of Europe; other ones include LukOil (oil), RusAl (aluminium), MTS, BeeLine and MegaPhone (cell phones; MTS is in fact a subsidiary of the much larger but lesser known AFK Sistema, a Mega Corp that makes everything but is most known for telecommunications and a recurring egg-shaped logo that comes in various colors for its various subsidiaries).
  • For decades, corporations that owned coal mines in the U.S. Appalachian Mountains could get away with pretty much anything, and this led to a cautionary tale of what exactly this kind of behavior tends to result in. When the miners formed a union, the union leader was gunned down by 17 hired goons, and when a sympathetic sheriff investigated they had him killed as well and promptly tried to crush the union with yet more copious brutality, which resulted in the union militarizing and radicalizing to the point where, when the actual law enforcement (who, granted, likely had had bribes from the companies) were called in to deal with "scabs" being sniped at, they were attacked by several thousand armed and angry miners talking about forming a "workers' state" and of exterminating their oppressors and anybody remotely connected to them. This led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, between 13,000 miners and a 2,000-man, hodge-podge army consisting of Baldwin & Felts agents, probably corrupt cops, ROTC graduates who had been rapidly shipped to the scene by a rightfully alarmed Federal government, and miscellaneous World War I veteran volunteers, who eventually managed to defeat the miners. Nearly 1,000 miners were charged with treason and would likely have resulted in the largest mass execution in U.S. judicial history if not for the fact that the rampant corruption of the corporations came to light as being responsible for everything in the first place, leading to a public outcry that prevented it from being carried out. Unfortunately, it took until Franklin D. Roosevelt's election for most of those on trial to be pardoned and the beginning of modern labor laws.
  • Comcast. They even have localized Monopolies in some areas of the world. As a result of a localized monopoly, they can allow their customer service to slack because what choice do people have during monopolies? There are many places in America where you have to buy Comcast and deal with any data caps or restrictions they provide, or else you do not get internet. At all. This is especially prevalent in their tech support, which is handled by another outsourcing company where the average employee retention span of a month.
    • Not to mention, Comcast and other ISPs made it illegal for small towns to run their own ISPs—when some of these ISPs were actually better than what they had!
    • They have only gotten bigger, too; they are now the majority partner in NBC Universal.
    • A lot of ISP companies in general. The only reason they even have customers was the aforementioned lobbying and making sure they are the only options available instead of just providing better service.
  • The IG Farben corporation was a German chemical conglomerate that consisted of such present day firms as Bayer and BASF to name a few. By the 1930s, it had grown to become the 4th largest corporation in the world behind Standard Oil, General Motors and US Steel, but more importantly for this trope it had become intimately involved with the Nazi party, providing much of the German economy's exports as well as a sizable amount of its domestic industrial base. This economic importance buttressed the Nazi party through taxes, jobs and war material, and IG Farben worked hand in hand with the Wehrmacht taking over the chemical industries of conquored territories, becoming one of the largest users of slave labour in the process. Some of IG Farben's wartime low-lights were the construction of a synthetic rubber plant next to the Auschwitz concentration camp making use of over 80,000 slave labourers, and the patent on the Zyklon B poison gas that killed millions at the same. After the war, the company was deemed to be too corrupt due to the high number of war crimes that it committed and was broken up into its constituent firms.
  • The United Fruit Corporation came to dominate the economies of several Central American countries in the early 20th century due to its near monopoly in the Caribbean fruit trade. At one point United Fruit took effective control of the entire nation of Guatemala, giving meaning to the term Banana Republic in the process. Or, in other words: Chiquita is the devil. Seriously.
  • Costco has become a variant of the "makes everything" in that it sells almost every single thing a human being needs to live, from cradle to grave. One could theoretically go one's entire life on Costco-sold products except for the textbooks you take to school and the tux/dress you are married in.
    • Actually, Costco now sells wedding dresses in bulk. But at least textbooks are still outside their domain... for now!
    • The Lotte Group in South Korea full stop. You can work at a Lotte Mart, your lunch break at a Cafe Lotte. Have dinner in a Lotteria then go home to Lotte Towers so you can watch the Lotte Giants play baseball. All those building were constructed by the Lotte Group.
  • While both are mostly in the pharmaceutical and consumer product areas, the American group Proctor & Gamble and Anglo-Dutch group Unilever produce a huge amount of products, both ranging from food to laundry detergents and medicine, although all under different brand names. Odds are at least some of the products in your kitchen or bathroom have been produced by one of these corporations.
  • If P&G or Unilever doesn't make it and it's food- there's about a 90% probability it's made by Nestle.
  • Serco group owns, among other things, private prisons, train companies, air traffic controls, schools, Britain's nuclear arsenal and other elements that effects most people's everyday lives directly. This Video outlines it quite well. Biggest company you've never heard of indeed.
  • The Japanese zaibatsu from the Meiji Restoration until World War II: Mitsui, Sumitomo, Yasuda, and Mitsubishi. Together they controlled somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the entire Japanese manufacturing economy and two of the era's most powerful political parties, the Seiyukai and Minseito, owed most of their financial backing to Mitsui and Mitsubishi, respectively.
    • Even today, while Yasuda is gone, the other three are all involved in banking, manufacturing, chemical production, insurance, mining... and that's just the sectors of the economy they're all involved in. That doesn't count the dozens of other fields only one or two them are in, like pharmaceuticals, paper, atomic energy, oil, coal, construction, etc., etc.
  • The Hanseatic League, a monopolistic merchants' alliance that operated in Germany from the 13th to the 16th centuries, had its own security forces, legal system, and diplomatic corps. It made treaties with national governments, founded towns and trade routes, launched naval campaigns against piracy, and even went to war with Denmark. Probably the Ur Example.
    • While we're on medieval examples, we also have The Knights Templar and The Knights Hospitallers, military orders formed during The Crusades. The Knights Hospitallers, for a long time in its history, controlled the Island of Malta under the name of the Knights of Malta, and the Knights Templar created the European banking system and only fell because of debtors who, rather than pay back their debts, had members of the Knights Templar killed for witchcraft, heathenry, or whatever reasons they could think up. While the Knights Hospitallers/Knights of Malta may strictly be described as a nationless state (as would the Hanseatic League, for that matter), the Knights Templar was the first multinational banking corporation, first banking corporation at all, and essentially defined what a multinational corporation was for the world.
  • Partial aversion: Berkshire Hathaway, it is a $143 billion-a-year conglomerate that is involved in everything from insurance to textiles, yet the CEO, Warren Buffett only makes about $100,000 a year, and plans to give most of his money to charity.
  • The oil industry as a whole is the most profitable industry in the history of the world. Exxon Mobil, just one company (albeit the world's largest), has annual revenues larger than the annual gross domestic product than 150 countries combined. And it plays the evil part to the hilt by not investing one damn dime on cleaning up its grossly irresponsible ventures.