It seems that being in a big multinational corporation these days makes one slightly hated individual. Whether it be poor accounting practices from ENRON, oil spillage from British Petroleum, or even the bank meltdown of last year; there are a lot of problems going around. Fictional corporations haven’t gotten off easy lately either, especially those found in videogames. What has been compiled is a list of the top ten “troubled” corporations in videogame storylines, in no particular order.
Spoiler Warning!! Some of these descriptions may contain spoilers, so be careful.
WarioWare, Inc. – Warioware series
Wario is at home one day hearing of the great money to be made from videogame sales. He immediately rushes out to buy a new computer and concoct all manner of quickly made mini games. This is hard work, and Wario needs help from his buddies. The games do well, but Wario decides to steal all the money in a rocket.
The Damage: Corporate greed leads to white collar crime of game company CEO.
Black Mesa Research Facility – Half Life series
After discovering a new dimension and testing materials found within, a tear in the space time continuum occurs causing mass havoc. Monsters from the other dimension fill up Black mesa, killing most inside the facility. The messy situation gets worse as the government decides to send in the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit to basically nuke the facility and the nearby town itself. While the facility is destroyed, the tear still exists causing a multidimensional race called the Combine to take the earth over.
The Damage: Human Enslavement
Aperture Laboratories – Portal
While not as bad as what Black Mesa went through, its closest rival was also run through quite a few problems during the Combine invasion. Abandoned at some point, the main facility of Aperture is left to be controlled by a sentient computer system called GLaDOS. GLaDOS proceeds to kill most of the folks inside, while trapping others.
The Damage: Arms race causes mass murdering sentient computer.
VersaLife Corporation – Deus Ex
After the outbreak of a virus, a glorious pharmaceutical company steps up with an anti-virus much to the joy of the population. Little does everyone know, they also are the ones responsible for bio-engineering the virus in the first place, and plan to use it for a bid on world domination. Not to mention that VersaLife specializes in bioengineering new life forms and other dastardly deeds.
The Damage: Release of a deadly virus with the cover of being saviors
Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) – Doom
After creating a stable network of interplanetary bases on Mars and its two moons, UAC decided that it needed a quick way for one to travel from one base to another. A teleportation gateway was developed that seemed quite troubled as those who entered it either never returned or went insane. Suddenly it is revealed that the portals actually link to Hell itself, and all manner of demonic legions infest the bases with their sights set on Earth.
The Damage: Scientific mishap results in demonic invasion.
Umbrella Corporation – Resident Evil
As a company, the Umbrella Corporation was on cloud nine. They were a fairly well received cosmetics and pharmaceutical company that helped charities and all the other things that a company is supposed to do. Problem was that they also bio-engineered weapons for shadowy governments for the highest bidder. After a mishap in a secret underground research facility a viral epidemic is released that causes “zombies” to rise from the dead. Soon all manner of bad dealings surfaced revealing a huge network of research facilities and all their bad deeds.
The Damage: Viral epidemic, destruction of more than one village and/or town mass murder, gun running etc. You name it these guys did it.
Tricell Corporation – Resident Evil
After Umbrella’s much needed closure, a new company seemed to pop up in its place overnight. This company, WilPharma, was found to have ties to Umbrella and was linked to the trade of T-Virus specimens to terrorist groups. A new company stepped up to “clean up” WilPharma, and bought them out. Tricell seemed to have it all, but as this list shows, there was obviously some kind of secret dealings going on. Guess who was a major backer for Tricell? That’s right Albert Wesker, former Umbrella big-wig, and evil badass. Using all of his new power and a database full of Umbrella secrets, Wesker decided to pretty much wreak havoc one step at a time.
The Damage: see entry for “Umbrella” above, these guys are basically the same if not worse.
Cyber Connect – .Hack Series
Imagine creating a popular video game that pretty much everyone plays. This videogame is so popular that a ton of money has been made, and the game has basically become a second reality for a lot of folks. This isn’t WOW, but a game called The World by CC Corporation. Problem is that sentient computer programs within the game have began to take over the world’s (as in the planet, not the game) infrastructure, kill people and cause comas in some players. That would be a PR nightmare in the real world.
The Damage: Computer game synchs with other networks causing infrastructural problems in the real world, then tries to kill its players.
Shinra Electric Power Company
In a world with Mako energy, life seems easy. Technology is prevalent and those with a bit of money live well. Problem is that said Mako energy seems to be killing the earth, and a bunch of right wing hippy groups are trying to stop you. When Al Gore isn’t around to lecture the people in this world, the next obvious step is to kill all of the poor people around the reactors, that way nobody whines anymore. And by the way, Mako Energy is ghosts and other “lifeforces” from the planet…oops!
The Damage: Mass murder to stop terrorism, Fueling things with the literal life of the planet.
RuptureFarms1029 – Oddworld series
When folks demand more and more food but resources are low, what is a meat packing plant to do but use a submissive slave race as dinner? A poor janitor named Abe accidentally witnesses this fact and attempts to rescue his brethren while fighting off all manner of baddies. Perhaps the biggest evil of all is gluttony.
The Damage: Soylent Green is People!! IT’S PEOPLE!!!
There we have it, I know it feels bad to live in the time we do sometimes with the big powerful companies doing a ton of crazy unethical things for the sake of profit. Good thing is, nobody has dropped a section of a city on us to stop us from whining as of yet, or opened a portal to Hell.