The Big Eight
While most corporations still follow the laws of their home nations, several of the largest multinationals have transcended these restrictions. The “AAA” megacorps, as they are commonly known, enjoy the benefits of extraterritoriality in many nations. Like foreign embassies, the properties of the Big Eight fall under their own jurisdiction rather than the laws of the lands surrounding them.
Each of the Big Eight is a massive, globe-spanning empire of commercial power. The megacorps have all the influence of major nation-states. Most can even field small armies.
The “American” megacorp is headed up by Damien Knight, a corporate raider who seemed to appear out of nowhere to buy out 22% of the company’s stock through a massive sequence of small transactions in the famous “Nanosecond Buyout” of 2033. Built out of a conglomeration of huge American entities including GM and NASA (yes, really), Ares concentrates on military, security and aerospace technologies. Knight Errant, a private security and police services company under the Ares umbrella, has its training academy in Renton.
Though this megacorp commands an appealing public image and worldwide popular appeal, it doesn’t take much research to realize that not all is as warm and friendly as it appears. AZT does not disclose its major shareholders nor is its stock publicly traded. Aztechnology is specifically barred from doing business in several nations. It’s also difficult for many observers to know where the nation-state of Aztlan ends and the megacorp of Aztechnology begins. AZT’s wide and varied holdings lean heaviest toward consumer goods, heavy industry and agriculture, but AZT also leads the Big Eight in magical services. The Aztechnology Pyramid, built in the style of ancient Aztec monuments, is a landmark of downtown Seattle.
Fuchi Industrial Electronics
Though based out of Tokyo, Fuchi is a megacorp split into thirds—and the narrowest margin of dominance is held by Boston’s Richard Villiers. Infighting amongst Fuchi’s factions is grist for many a tabloid (and many a shadowrun), but the company keeps chugging along. As the name implies, Fuchi is a leading developer of computer software, hardware and electronics.
A leading name in heavy industry, computer hardware, entertainment and chemical products. Mitsuhama is also the world’s second-largest provider of magical goods and services after AZT. Persistent rumors of ties to the Yakuza simply will not die despite both the company’s constant denials and the simple realities of economic interest. Five tall, dark skyscrapers in downtown Seattle mark Mitsuhama’s North American headquarters.
Renraku Computer Systems
A neck-and-neck competitor with Fuchi in all the fields of computer services. Though the company has many various interests, Renraku is more specialized than most. Its famed Red Samurai are perhaps the most recognized elite corporate security force in the world. The Renraku Arcology, a massive pyramid-shaped structure, covers a large chunk of downtown real estate, dominating the city skyline.
The oldest of the megacorps, and the company most responsible for the rights and privileges the Big Eight enjoy today. Shiawase is also perhaps the most evenly diversified megacorp, with fingers in every pie. Its profile is highest in public infrastructure services and projects. Shiawase Atomics provides power for much of the East Coast as well as for Seattle. Twin towers of glass in Tacoma house the company’s Pacific Northwest HQ.
The single largest corporation in the world has an appropriately larger-than-life leader: the great western dragon Lofwyr. Founded on the merging of Germany’s Saeder Munitions, Krupp Manufacturing and BMW, S-K is most known for its power in heavy industry, military technologies and chemical engineering. Lofwyr doesn’t give interviews or appear in public, but it’s said that S-K is the most micro-managed of all the Big Eight.
The newest and smallest of the Big Eight, Yamatetsu is a leader in biotechnology and medical services. This megacorp concentrates heavily on the inclusion of metahuman races, both in its practices and in the services and goods that it provides.
Other Major Players
Though not up to the level of the Big Eight, several large corporations have a major impact on daily life in the Sixth World:
A major player in medical services, and the premier HMO and provider of paramedic services in Seattle. DocWagon paramedics aren’t just professional lifesavers—they’re armed, though ostensibly for their own protection. Subscribers to DocWagon’s gold and platinum services can expect an armed team of commandos to accompany the ambulance if the situation calls for it.
Lone Star Security Services
Private police corporations began with the birth of this major company in Texas. Most of the cities of the UCAS and CAS as well as others around the world have contracts with Lone Star to provide municipal police service.
A semi-nationalized corporate entity of the elven nation of Tir Tairngire, Telestrian is almost as diverse as any one of the Big Eight, though certainly not as large. Given massive urban and environmental changes to the former city of Portland, the Council of Princes and Telestrian’s CEO recently signed an agreement making Seattle the primary shipping point for Tir Tairngire. As a result, Telestrian’s operations in Seattle have begun a significant expansion. Telestrian is a significant player in consumer goods, magical services and agriculture, along with a deep connection to the Tir’s military forces.
Still more big players in the Seattle Metroplex include Federated-Boeing, Pacific Rim Communications, United Oil, MegaMedia Productions and venerable computer giant Microdeck.