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Corporate Warfare

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"There were several ways to win a corporate war. One of them was to bring out the bazookas."
Flavour text of the Corporate War card, Android:Netrunner

One common feature of Mega Corps and Predatory Businesses, both real and fictional, is the possession of private armies and the ability to wage war.

A staple of Cyberpunk media. Megacorporations typically are depicted as having "Company Security Forces" which are often as powerful as the military of a small nation. Besides the option for open warfare, they also heavily indulge in covert operations against their business rivals, ranging from espionage to sabotage and "wetwork", meaning assassinations of key personnel.

In Real Life, the East India Trading Companies officially conquered and outright governed large areas of India in the name of their home nations.

Compare Mob War. Contrast to One Nation Under Copyright, where the corporations literally are nations, and Privately Owned Society, where the corporations run everything including the government. May involve an Army of Lawyers or Corporate Samurai. Private Military Contractors are a common choice for such security forces. May overlap with N.G.O. Superpower. If one company attempts a hostile takeover of another, it will likely invoke Majority-Share Dictator.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Killing Bites is about genetically altered werecreatures brawling on behalf of the zaibatsu corporations that mutated them. Originally the tournaments were formed to prevent mass bloodshed, but most therianthropes are happy to break that rule if their masters command it.

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in the Cursed Earth storyline in Judge Dredd. Gengineered mascot creatures battle each other for supremacy long after the corporations they represent have vanished. (Apparently these chapters could not be reprinted due to trademark infringement.)
  • A big part of Marvel 2099. When they say "hostile takeover", they mean "hostile takeover".
  • One of the main villains of Thor (2014) is Dario Agger, a Corrupt Corporate Executive who can turn into a Minotaur and is invading other planets for their natural resources. The climax of one arc involves several other CEO supervillains declaring war on him for not cutting them in on the action. Among other things, it turns out that Roxxon has a whole team of low-rent Hulks ready to deploy at a moment's notice.
  • One The Simpsons comic story centered around Mr. Burns and the owner of the Shellbyvile nuclear plant almost going to nuclear war with one another because Homer was driving around in Grandpa's tank. It ends with the federal government forbidding both companies to handle anything nuclear for at least six months, and the employees having to power their towns using giant hamster wheels.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures, colonel Neopard's two appearances feature it: during his debut his ship is attacked by the fighters of a group of corporations hostile to his previous client, only for them to back off when Neopard tells them he dumped said client because they didn't pay (why the corporations went at war with them in the first place: they weren't being paid for services either), and when he returns he's involved in a dispute for control of an industrial artificial planetoid, with the builders having sent a mercenary army to take it back because the committent decided not to pay for it when construction went overbudget and Neopard working for the committent and the opposing army being led by his fiancee (somehow, they make the relationship work, to the point Neopard's ship is named after his fiancee's real name). The second conflict ends early when Paperinik, summoned by Neopard, unleashes a demolition vehicles that smashes half the planetoid, making its value decrease and having Neopard's client give up.
  • In Iron Man, many of Tony's corporate rivals go after his company instead of him, often through super villain attacks.

    Fan Works 

  • Star Wars: In The Phantom Menace, the antagonist faction is the corporate army of the Trade Federation, secretly controlled by Darth Sidious. In Episode II and III, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Separatist army is created as an amalgamation of several corporate armies. They happen to have a good reason to have them, in that the Republic's lack of military and overstretched Judicial Forces allowed for many areas of space to fall under control of pirates and warlords, forcing the various corporations to build their own heavily armed security forces to defend their assets... And then going overboard.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The East India Trading Company is featured in the second and third movies. Not only do they have a private fleet and army with a worldwide reach, they also control the Flying Dutchman. The Company wages war on all pirates, intent to wipe them out. Not Truth in Television: the East India Company did arm their ships defensively, but actually fighting wars was the province of the Royal Navy (though they did admittedly have a lot of pull with the government to get the Royal Navy to go where they wanted.)
  • The premise of the original Rollerball was that corporations had taken over for governments and waged wars on each other, until they decided wars were too expensive to their bottom line and instead invented the game of Rollerball where the companies could battle it out in the arena. Information on these wars has been removed from the Master Computer; one executive will only say they were "nasty", then clams up when asked for details.
  • RoboCop 3 has Omni Consumer Products (and its new shareholders the Kanemitsu Corporation) hire a band of mercenaries to force out the inhabitants of Old Detroit. To combat this, the regular folks form a underground resistance. And just to make sure their investment pays off, Kanemitsu sends robot ninjas to aid their hired guns.
  • The film Matewan involved conflict between a coal company which controlled most of a West Virginia town's economy, and local miners endeavoring to form a union in the 1920s. The company had contracted with a Pinkerton-style mercenary force called the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, which sent a platoon of gunmen into the town to suppress the miners' strike. Truth in Television: this film was loosely based on true events that occurred in Matewan, West Virginia at that time. And suppression of unions through such means was common elsewhere in the U.S. in that era, often involving the actual Pinkertons.
  • Silent Movie: Engulf & Devour intends to purchase Big Picture Studios, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Upon learning that director Mel Funn's upcoming film may save the studio, Engulf & Devour attempts to sabotage the filming. At the end, they send agents to steal the completed film reel, and this escalates into a chase scene and a fight using a Coke machine as a grenade launcher.
  • A sketch in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life takes the term "corporate raiding" literally when the disgruntled employees of Permanent Assurance Company turn their building into a pirate ship and launch a raid on The Very Big Corporation of America.
  • In Avatar, the soldiers under Colonel Quaritch are part of SecOps, the corporation's private security force. Though they do indeed protect mining colony Hell's Gate from Pandora's megafauna and other threats, they're also used to fight the native Na'vi if they get in the way of operations, going so far as to blow up the Omaticaya's Hometree because it's sitting on a massive Unobtanium deposit.
  • Toys: Early on it is mentioned that there is the threat of spies at the toy factory (to the visible excitement of the general whose just inherited the place) but nothing else comes of this. General Zevo hires his son to assist with security in a covert ops style, and begins building war robots to use as security through the factory while also trying to convert it to making weapons.
  • Duplicity involves rival CEO's hiring all kids of ex-government hackers and spies to rob, mislead or sabotage each other.
  • On Deadly Ground: Jennings the oil executive has a few hitmen on standby, and whole teams of armed mercenaries to bring in when that isn't to clear the way for his new oil rig. Much is made of the fact that such companies hire mercenaries for their overseas operations, which somehow explains why they're being used on United States territory.
  • Goldstone: Furnace Creek Mining has security contractors armed with automatic rifles for some of their dirty work, and hires a local biker gang for the rest of it.
  • It's hidden, but the entire plot of Videodrome was set in motion when Brian O'Blivion developed a technology for a Subliminal Seduction television signal. The MegaCorp owned by Barry Convex either made a deal with O'Blivion or tried to steal the tech. O'Blivion ended his research when he found out it was giving viewers tumors that not only gave them hallucinations, but made them extremely susceptible to suggestion, making them the perfect Manchurian Agent that could be given their instructions via subliminal broadcasts (usually videotapes). The Mega-Corp murdered O'Blivion for the technology, which set off a secretive corporate warfare between Barry and Bianca, Brian's daughter.
  • Sleep Dealer: The Del Rio Water Company, which owns the privatized rights to water in Santa Ana Del Rio, uses deadly force to defend their holdings in Mexico. The dam they constructed is guarded by automated machine guns and armed guards, and Del Rio sends military-grade drones equipped with rocket launchers to attack and kill a "suspected terrorist" that tapped into their communications frequency.

  • In the Alliance/Union series the Earth Company built a fleet of warships to bring the rebelling stations back under their fold. But the Union was better prepared and Earth eventually decided to cut their fleet off from supply, too costly.
  • Agent G by C.T. Phipps includes an organization called the International Refugee Society. It provides the world's richest corporations assassination, espionage, and sabotage services. The Society uses cybernetic assassins to make sure its patrons remain the richest corporations in the world as well as the governments that support them. This is arguably unnecessary because they already have access to technology far in advance of what is available to the public.
  • The Asterisk War: As befits a good MegaCorp, the IEFs have their own Private Military Contractors to enforce their goals (made up mainly of Genestella), so this sometimes happens. Defied at one point in the Backstory when a couple of them nearly fought a war over the manadite deposits in what became Lieseltania, but the other IEFs joined in and forced a peaceful settlement of the dispute. This resulted in Lieseltania becoming an independent state (in theory).
  • The Black Tide Rising series has the Bank of the Americas employing and organizing various gangs and mercenaries to capture or kill zombies to harvest their bodily fluids for the (technically illegal) vaccine as things take a downward spiral.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory references the covert side of this trope. Grandpa Joe mentions that Wonka shut down his factory because rival companies employed numerous spies to steal the secret formulas that made his company the biggest, and wealthiest, candy maker out there.
  • In John Van Stry's Children of Steel series, wars between corporations over mines in distant systems aren't rare. Freighter crews (comprised mainly of indentured animorphs) are trained in combat and ships are easily converted into troop transports. A couple books are partially about a war between an alliance of corporations and a multi-system extremist group that hates animorphs.
  • Congo by Michael Crichton. Although they don't engage in open warfare, the corporations racing to discover the lost city of Zinj engage in constant espionage and sabotage to hinder each other's efforts, in what's essentially a corporate version of the Cold War.
  • In The Fold, a bureaucrat is so frustrated by a research project's unwillingness to divulge information that he finds a context to dispatch an auditor. The auditor has a photographic memory and can smuggle out enough technical information to rebuild the project elsewhere.
  • In Jennifer Government, the corporate alliances come to the brink of all-out warfare, and step slightly over the line a few times before coming to their senses due to John Nike's influence.
  • Happens throughout the Periphery in The History of the Galaxy, with the various Mega Corps vying for market and resource control. Most corporations have small fleets of their own. One novel even deals with a corporation, whose CEO plots to take on the Confederacy of Suns itself after finding out that he's about to be indicted. As expected, the corporations are against any attempts by the Confederacy to regulate them.
  • In Mack Reynolds' Mercenary companies often settle contract disputes by armed conflicts commonly referred to as "frackuses" which are televised like spectator sports and are restricted to 19th century technology.
  • In David Drake's Ranks of Bronze galactic mercantile "guilds" are known to start wars on low-tech planets to secure predatory trade deals. Though, they are required by Federation laws to use the same tech level of weaponry as the natives, which is why one guild obtains a Roman legion.
  • Snow Crash takes corporate warfare to its logical conclusion following the collapse of most traditional governments, resulting in hundreds of thousands of micronations governed by corporations; two highway construction firms engage in a protracted campaign of sniper warfare when their roads intersect.
  • The galaxy of Spinward Fringe is mostly dominated by megacorps, the largest of which can control hundreds of systems. They field fleets easily as powerful as any governmental body, and frequently go to war both with each other and with independent systems who are reluctant to accept their "protection"
  • In The Space Merchants, commercial law, which has largely or entirely replaced criminal law, permits a company to engage in a lethal feud with its rival upon serving a formal Notification. These are recognized as dangerous enough that private police forces charge special exorbitant rates to star-class personnel such as the protagonist, who wonders why he was targeted for attempted assassination in the absence of a Notification.
  • Spice and Wolf: During certain arcs (namely the devalued silver coins one), there is a trade company that has enough men to do the thug and garrote routine without problem by sheer force of numbers. The other Traders had a nice Intel network of the city maps and then Lawrence has Holo. Considering the setting, the idea of using men for pressuring and muting the lone merchant they scammed is logical from their point of view. Karma on the other hand...
  • In Eoin Colfer's The Supernaturalist, the term "paralegal" has come to mean commandos with law degrees. (Presumably it's a pun on "paratrooper.")
  • Uller Uprising by H. Beam Piper has the Chartered Uller Company operate their own military forces on the titular planet. Many of its military personnel are former Federation regulars, and are well trained and equipped.
  • The Upgrade by Wesley Cross: Sinister corporate conspiracies are slowly starting to erode civil liberties and the power of the government but have already degenerated into outright Corporate Warfare. The protagonists decide to fight fire with fire by building their own Megacorp.
  • In Violet Evergarden's third volume, the Salvatore Postal Company attacks CH Postal. It isn't long before the streets of Leiden become alight with gunfire and artillery barrages considering both companies primarily employ war veterans and have secret stashes of weapons locked away. Armed postal services have historical precedent in real life, and the USPS still has its own police force, but typically not for warring with competitors.
  • In Frank Herbert's Whipping Star, Mliss Abnethe has such economic power (controlling a corporation that owns several worlds) that it's no surprise she has her own household troops.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Dark Matter (2015), "multi-corps" own entire planets, and hire mercenaries such as the Raza to wipe out independent planets that refuse to submit to them. If that doesn't work, they send their own troops.
  • Incorporated: The corporations have their own militaries after seizing territory when the worlds governments fall.
  • Kamen Rider Build: Namba Heavy Industries Ltd. are an Arms Dealer which supplies Mecha-Mooks and other weapons to the three divided nations of Japan. Of course, they also keep some of them for their own use.
  • Leverage: Shows up form time to time.
    • Sterling and IYS employ quite a few thugs for an insurance company in the season one finale.
    • The Top Hat Job where the food company has Crazy-Prepared security systems and ex-military security officers on the lookout for thieves and spies everywhere.
  • This sketch from Whitest Kids U Know starts with a boss taking cover in his office as an employee comes in to ask him something. After talking for a bit about how hard he's worked to build up this company he says the business across the street has hired a sniper to kill him. Things continue to escalate until eventually the boss is launching mortars while on the phone with his business rival, chatting casually as he's trying to kill him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cyberpunk 2020 is a prime example, featuring a full-scale Corporate War between two of the biggest megacorps as a world-changing event. To make matters worse, three others have taken place in the backstory.
  • Deadlands features the spin-off game The Great Rail Wars, in which six companies fight to be the first to build a transcontinental railway and thus win lucrative contracts from the Union and Confederate governments for transporting the superfuel known as ghost rock (which is most abundant on the west coast). Each company has its a private army of "rail warriors", and that's before you factor in the witches, undead, supernatural martial artists and automata with human brains.
  • In Eclipse Phase the Planetary Consortium deployed Direct Action to seize several Anarchist and Extropian habitats on the grounds that they were havens for software pirates (neither group acknowledges copyrights). However the Titanian Commonwealth decided to side with the anarchists and they formed the Autonomist Alliance.
  • The players in Fleets: The Pleiad Conflict are interstellar corporations duking it out for dominance of the Pleiades.
  • A major part of the backstory to Hc Svnt Dracones is a war between newly risen Corptowns and traditional governments that saw them as a threat. It eventually went nuclear, the only survivors a couple corporate colonies on Mars.
    • "Hotzones" are areas where the IRPF has sanctioned a limited armed conflict between two corporations, typically within a single Corptown and resembling something between a hostile takeover and a gang war or football riot. The game's creator has also alluded to "Shadow Wars" between Mega Corps in isolated areas they keep their media subsidiaries far away from.
  • Lancer: Small-scale wars between corpro-states are not uncommon in the Diaspora. As well as armed conflicts between corpro-states and exploited planetary populations and occasionally even armed interventions by Union against corpro-states that haven't signed on with ThirdComm's new principles.
  • The MERCS skirmish game is based entirely around this.
  • Mutant Chronicles had several Megacorps duking it out for supremacy in the solar system before and after the release of the Dark Legions.
  • One of the measures the Megacorp can use against the Runner in the card game NetRunner. Aside from using malevolent software to fry the Runner's brain, if the Megacorp manages to trace the location of the Runner, he can use anyting from saboteurs and paramilitary forces to bombing entire city blocks in order to flatline the Runner. The page quote refers to a scoring card where the player's Megacorp goes to war against another corporation.
  • A staple (and the main source of employment of the PCs) in Shadowrun. There are also the Desert Wars where megacorps pit their troops against one another to test their weapons and for publicity. For the most part though, most corporate warfare is of the "cold war" variety, fought in lots of small skirmishes conducted by deniable proxies. Player Characters, the titular Shadowrunners, find employment as those proxies.
  • Classic Traveller supplement The Traveller Adventure. When Imperial MegaCorps decide to get rough they engage in "tradewars". They send out military forces to attack the other corporation's offices, factories, starships and other property. This can involve killing the other company's workers and management. This is known in the GURPS version as well.
  • Warhammer40000 started off as Rogue Trader, a more role-playing focussed game than later editions in which armies were actually the private forces of the titular traders. While the game has evolved a bit since then, rogue traders still make appearances in the literature, often still in possession of significant forces able to contribute to whatever battle is taking place. This is why The Inquisition often pose as rogue traders - no-one will see anything suspicious in them owning a heavily armed cruiser packed with mercenaries.
    • While the Imperium as a whole doesn't have much influence from megacorps, on a planetary scale corporations are often the big players, with them often fighting over resources and influence. Dan Abnett's Necropolis is one of the rare times this fighting becomes bad enough for the Imperium to take notice and send forces in to ensure manufacturing quotas aren't harmed. It turns out to be a Chaos cult uprising rather than the normal corporate infighting.
    • The 2009 Rogue Trader RPG de-emphasizes the war aspects of the setting (ironically), but given the player characters start out flying a kilometers-long starship that can fit multiple mercenary companies and enough firepower to level a small continent feuds between Rogue Trader dynasties can get bloody.

    Video Games 
  • The whole plot of Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere revolves around a war between two megacorporations, General Resource Ltd. and Neucom Inc.; although there are two more sides in it (peace-enforcing UPEO and the terrorist conspiracy Ouroboros), they are much smaller in scale and influence.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Eindersohn Industries is a renowned developer and manufacturer in specialized domestic machines and bio-products for daily use. At least, that's how they appear on the front, they secretly produce weaponized battle mechs for The Consortium, for both security and industrial products sent to the Tithonus Group.
  • A staple part of the setting in any of the Armored Core games. Even in the universe where all of the corporations joined forces in a military coup against all world governments, they're still going at each others' necks and trying to gain control over the entire globe as well as outer space.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: The Sumeragi Group deals with many kinds of things, from economics, security to entertainment, but they're primarily known for handling Adepts. They also have their own private army consisting of corporate soldiers (including trained assassins and ninjas) and mechs for combat and security, unmanned tanks and aircraft for their armored division, and certain powerful Adepts acting as officers.
  • The backstory of Bio F.R.E.A.K.S. is the growth of technology-focused Mega Corps in the United States began to outpace the US government's ability to control the country as a whole, leading to government bankruptcy and the companies (called "GI-Corps", short for "giant corporations") becoming self-governing entites that were powerful enough to declare their home states as independent territories. This led to massive ethics violations and eventually outright violence and terrorism, termed the "Techno-Industrial Civil Wars", which were only quelled with the institution of the Secret Games Commission — the sanctioning body in charge of the fights that take place in the game itself. The games replace large-scale conflicts with one-on-one duels between genetically modified clones that represent the states held by the GI-Corps.
  • Played with in the Borderlands series. In the first game, it seems like a case of non-corporate individuals rebelling against an overpowering megacorp (Atlas), until you realize that the main characters are being manipulated by another megacorp (Hyperion). A conflict between Dahl and Atlas in the backstory is one of the main reasons why Pandora is such a Crapsack World. The Pre-Sequel plays it the straightest, with the core conflict between Dahl and Hyperion, though in this case it is a rogue Dahl fleet. The Pre-Sequel even makes mention of a "Corporate War" sparked by Hyperion that destroyed the central government of the galaxy, causing each of the corporations to be superpowers in their own right. By the time of Borderlands 3, there is an outright open war on the planet Promethia between the revitalized Atlas Corporation and Maliwan, the later of which is invading in an attempt to force a "merger" between the two.
  • Cerberus Daily News told a story of this happening in the War on Garvug story arc, between Mass Effect 2 and 3. The war started when a bunch of galactic mega corps invaded the planet Garvug for supposed Prothean artifacts. The krogan and vorcha that made up most of the world's population fought back well and eventually the corporate forces pulled out... only to return in the middle of Garvug's victory celebrations, killing most of the government officials with bombs and assassinations after coming out with a well-publicized "debate" over whether to pull out from the planet or not.
    • Early during Galactic history, the mostly-company-owned planet of Anhur effectively legalized slavery in the system, which resulted in a civil war between the pro-slavery batarians and the anti-slavery humans (and their hired guns from the mercenary company Eclipse) that populate the planet. Eclipse would later spin the positive publicity gained from defeating the slavers for all it was worth.
  • Civilization series: Certain Greed events that go under "Our corporation wants X resource under rival civilization's border, go and get it for massive cash. The other variant is that "our generals want X resource in enemy land, go get it old chap".
    • Civilization: Call to Power allows the players to eventually train lawyers and corporate branches to wage economic warfare on opponents. Though it's implied they're not actually violent.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Futuretech is nominally employed by the Allies to provide their most advanced weapons. They have more of a background role in the Uprising expansion, where they're revealed to have more sinister motives: their former President is the Big Bad of the Soviet campaign doing something involving stopping time and they're seen to actively recruit sociopaths for their Cryo-Legionnaire program, and the Commander's Challenge involves them employing the Non-Entity General to steal military technology from all three world powers.
  • The Shai-Gen Corporation from Crackdown rules over their section of Pacific City with an iron fist. All citizens there are subjected to constant surveillance by Shai-Gen's intelligence branch looking for any discontent, constant propaganda and emotion suppressants to brainwash the citizens into compliance, and ruthless purging by Shai-Gen's Enforcers should any discontent arise. Shai-Gen's Research Division is also heavily invested in genetically engineering super soldiers, frequently kidnapping citizens to use as test subjects.
  • Played for Laughs in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. In the Gasmoxia Grand Prix, the Drive-Thru Danger track has two restaurant chains, Nuclear Pizza and Toxic Burger, hoping to get a sponsorship from CTR TV. They do this by hiring a fleet of warships to battle it out in the background of the track.
  • Medieval equivalent: In Crusader Kings II: The Republic Patrician families can go to war over trade posts, or attempt to seize cities and counties where they've built posts.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: The megacorps of Night City all vie for control through subterfuge, economic dominance, or just plain violence. The primary conflict is between Arasaka Corporation and Militech, with both sides having gone to open war during the Fourth Corporate War and even used nukes.
  • DarkOrbit's Excuse Plot is that three mining corporations don't get along and your job is to kill everyone not working for your corp.
  • In Deep Rock Galactic, the titular mining corporation is embroiled in a Bug War with the native lifeforms of Hoxxes IV, deploying miners with military-grade hardware so they can survive its skittering hordes and extract its mineral wealth. Season 1 started up some inter-corporate warfare with the development that a "Rival Corporation" is muscling in on DRG's territory by sending in robotic miners and security forces that can show up during standard missions, culminating in Industrial Sabotage operations to disable Rival facilities on-planet.
  • Deus Ex Universe:
    • A necessary evil in the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where many augmentation firms need their armies as a reason for corporations to not have a war in the first place, in a form of Mutually Assured Destruction.
    • In Deus Ex: Invisible War, the player begins as a student in the Tarsus Academy, a training school for covert operatives whose graduates are at least as likely to find themselves working for a corporation as a government entity. This is typified in a later side quest that sees the player alternating missions for a pair of rival coffee chains. The player's tasks begin with such things as bribing a pop star's manager for a product endorsement and falsifying a construction permit for a prime storefront location; things rapidly escalate until the player is tasked with robbery, arson, and even murder in the name of one coffee brand or the other.
  • Dyztopia: Post-Human RPG: Zetacorp enforces their will by hiring Hunters to track down Zodiac stones and slaughter anyone who gets in their way. The Hunters that are directly affiliated with Zetacorp effectively serve as a private army.
  • Corporations are the equivalent of player guilds in EVE Online, and they're able to go to war with one another.
    • The old storyline video stated that before the discovery of the EVE wormhole the megacorporations of earth fought one another when they reached the practical limits of stargate expansion.
  • In Evolve, there are five gigacorps that essentially serves as pseudonations. Each has a private army of mercenaries and robots that it uses to protect its assets and eliminate anything that might pose a threat to their status. One of the biggest events in the backstory of the game, the Mutagen Wars, was instigated by a corporation inciting a cluster of worlds into rebellion so they could then take over.
  • This is the whole point of Executive Assault. A bunch of feuding corporations land on an alien planet and immediately start building robot armies and waging war to see who gets to exploit its resources.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Shinra has a private army consisting of various types of military troopers, genetically-augmented SOLDIER members, and a wide array of robots and mecha.
  • The 'verse of the first Ground Control game has any warfare on Earth outlawed under the threat of nuclear annihilation. As such, Mega Corps tend to fight their issues out on other worlds. The focus of the game is on a habitable faraway moon called Krig-7B that is being claimed by both the Crayven Corporation and the Order of the New Dawn. While the Order is more a religion than a corporation, they are officially registered as a MegaCorp (for political purposes), and their Pax Dei ("Peace of God") branch is, in some ways, superior to Crayven's mercenary army. For that matter, the Order's military tech is way more advanced than that of Crayven, but Crayven has managed to take Boring, but Practical to new heights, so they're evenly matched.
  • Hawken: Player Characters are pilots that fight for Prosk and Sentium, the two dominant corporations on the planet. There was originally a third, but its downfall led to the Grey Goo outbreak threatening the planet.
  • Mega Man ZX: Slither Inc is a MegaCorp that, among other things, provides energy for the whole city, and also employs an army made mostly of robots, primarily as peacekeeping agents and defense against Maverick forces. Then it turns out they're secretly also creating many of those very same Maverick forces...
  • In Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, anything beyond the Lunar orbit is under the control of the Mega Corps, after they won the war against the IASA. Each MegaCorp has its own private fleet that is frequently deployed against rival corporations and even IASA ships that stray beyond their space. The Player Character, Marcus Cromwell, is hired by SpaceTech to captain one of their corvettes. An early mission involves saving a friend of Marcus's, who is a captain in the IASA from two OSEC ships that ambush his ship.
  • Ultor Corporation in Saints Row 2 has it's own security force responsible for policing the district its headquarters are located in, the Stillwater Nuclear power plant, and a few other locations. This security force responds to crimes with APCs, attack helicopters, and their own special forces unit the Masako. The Masako are also used for targeted assassinations of potential enemies of the corporation. Various characters when faced with them describe Masako as a "private army" and a "SWAT team from hell" for a reason.
  • The Orochi Group of The Secret World possesses seemingly thousands of heavily-armed security personnel, along with humanoid drones, tanks, and even Humongous Mecha. However, it turns out that they aren't there to battle other corporations or even the secret societies; all the robots and war engines are used only in attempts to secure occult power from highly-dangerous sources, and the general public has no idea that they even exist.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Morgan Industries, like all the other factions, could just build a army and conquer everyone else. Then again, Morgan could easily win through economic means as well.
    • According to the background information, Nwabudike Morgan (leader of Morgan Industries) managed to get his start by hiring mercenaries to take over some diamond mines. Morgan's Earthly businesses also included funding "mercenary forces, U.N. escorts... and creating Morgan SafeHaven Hotel Fortress chain 'for the discriminating executive'."
    • The same applies to both of the game's Spiritual Successors: Civilization: Beyond Earth (the American Reclamation Corporation led by CEO Suzanne Marjorie Fielding) and Pandora: First Contact (the Noxium Corporation led by Director Eric Preston).
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Roxxon is an American energy company that spends the game fighting a turf war against a NYC street gang called the Underground. All of their corporate security guards are equipped with military-grade exosuits and Energy Weapons. They also have access to a fleet of gun-mounted APCs and flying tiltrotor gunships which they often deploy during street shootouts.
  • Stellaris: The MegaCorp DLC introduces corporations as a special government type that can build branch offices on the planets of conventional empires, and two related war goals. In a Hostile Takeover war one corporation attempts to seize control of another corporation's branch offices, while Expropriation occurs when a conventional empire attempts to eject a corporation from their planets.
  • Strike Commander: Due to the Post-Peak Oil and the disintegration of every major power in the world, oil conglomerates such as Trans-World Petrochem, Global Oil, Pegasus Oil and others have become so powerful that they are now free to conduct actual warfare against one another, using paid mercenaries. The actions are relatively limited, since they are geared not to destroy the rival company but to set things up for a buyout or hostile takeover. Anyone who crosses one of these corporations should similarly expect retaliation in kind.
  • Syndicate has corps warring over control of the planet, mostly via small teams of highly skilled Cyborg agents.
  • The Mega Corps of Tachyon: The Fringe each maintain a private Space Navy, theoretically to protect their supply chains from piracy. They're not above using them in inter-company squabbles, however, and the central conflict of the game is between one corporation, GalSpan, and the Bora settlers.
  • The background of Team Fortress 2 is that the playable characters are mercenaries hired by one of the two corporations that secretly run the world to fight over gravel pits, driven by Sibling Rivalry of truly epic proportions between the CEOs.
  • In Tekken, the family feud among the Mishimas has escalated into a full-on global Corporate War between the Mishima Zaibatsu (led by Jin in Tekken 6, and later by Heihachi in 7) and the G-Corporation led by Kazuya from the fifth game onwards. There is also a Civil War between the main Tekken Force (the military arm of the Mishima Zaibatsu) and a splinter group led by Lars Alexandersson since his rebellion after Jin rose to power at the conclusion of 5.
  • Unreal II: The Awakening: The game's human enemies are made up of mercenaries working for corporations; the Izanagi's Ghost Warriors, and the Liandri's Angels.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004's background lore mentions a Great Offscreen War between several corporations (including the one that runs the titular tournament) known as the Corporation Wars. Several Assault maps recreate various events of said conflict, notably AS-Glacier.
  • Some of the main conflicts in Urban Galaxy are between 4 major corporations; the GIG, U50, P&C, and Star Chapman. They regularly employ the use of both Alliance and Outlaw mercenaries in order to pursue their goals. There is even an entire district about the conflict between U50 and GIG.
  • Warborn: The Krukov Mining Corporation has its own private army, to the point of being one of the four playable factions (the other three being two state armies and one mercenary company). They make heavy use of mechs wielding "repurposed mining equipment" (i.e. lots of explosives).
  • This is half the conflict in Warframe. The Corpus are a MegaCorp that control half the Origin System, and spend their time fighting the Grineer for superiority (whenever they're not being assaulted by Tenno, of course).
  • The goblin homeland of Kezan in World of Warcraft is ruled by many cartels. One character's backstory mentions that they warred against each other many times in the past, during "Trade Wars" which were apparently fought with bombings and ambushes in tunnels and storerooms.
  • The mega corps of the X-Universe series all maintain hundreds of fighters and a couple capital ships apiece, mainly to protect their supply chains from Space Pirates, Xenon, Kha'ak, and sometimes raiding fleets of rival governments. The player can engage in this as well, and can also be hired as a contractor by the corporations and be sent on (among other things) station defense and assassination missions.

    Web Comics 
  • Background to one arc of Exterminatus Now is a conflict between cola companies.
  • The protagonists of My Life at War were hired by Mega-Fun Foods Inc. to defend some newly acquired farmland from some nobles who think they still own it.
  • Parodied in one arc of Newshounds where AOL attempted a military takeover of Starbucks, which failed as their troops were no match for stressed out baristas.
  • In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger the Empire of the Seven Systems declared war on the RIAA thirty years previous. By then they owned the copyrights and patents to just about everything, but what set the rather libertarian Empire off was their brain-stripping of elderly artists and scientists, which is highly illegal for a damn good reason. And apparently there were earlier skirmishes over things like laying patent claim over a species genome.
  • The R&D wars of Sluggy Freelance in the "4U City" Alternate Universe between a number of weapons manufacturers with strong ties to organized crime. In the prime universe Torg has been trying to take them down, but all his efforts have done is consolidate them into Hereti-Corp against everyone else.
  • The Maytec Consortium in S.S.D.D. has its own army but when the Anarchists jumped their mineral claims on Mars they manipulated the CORE into fighting the war for them.
    • Not to mention that CORE evolved from a private security company into an international coalition dedicated to fighting the Anarchists.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles: In the pilot, Xanatos Industries' headquarters is literally invaded by mercenaries from a rival company They were actually his own mercenaries pretending to steal something so Goliath's clan would be willing to "retrieve" it from said rival.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?: The episode Recipe for Disaster has several Classy Cat-Burglar breaking into the Scooby Snack factory through the skylight and sliding down on ropes to look around for the secret recipe.

    Real Life 
  • The Dutch and British East India Companies both fielded private armies for fending off piracy and putting down native resistance to their colonial monopolies.
    • Not just pirates and natives; for much of the 18th century, whenever Britain and France went to war, the British and French East India Companies note  would dutifully declare war on one another as well. The Carnatic Wars in particular were fought largely by Company forces on both sides, with the British East India Company eventually emerging as the dominant of the two before the French company was eventually forcibly liquidated during The French Revolution.
    • The British East India Company would meet the same fate a few decades later, after its Corrupt Corporate Executive antics resulted in a full-blown armed revolt and created a major political scandal in Britain; even self-righteous colonialists have standards.
  • Although the United States never created an East India Company, its closest equivalent would have to be the United Fruit Company, an American MegaCorp capable of dictating terms to entire Banana Republics in Latin America (and in fact popularized the term "Banana Republic", as it held a monopoly on the banana trade in the region). At its peak, United Fruit wielded enormous control over port and rail infrastructure in several Central American countries, owned the world's largest private navy (even if it were a merchant fleet), and strong-armed national governments into granting it unlimited access to local land and labour. Most importantly, however, United Fruit controlled the regimes themselves, and installed or deposed political leaders according to its interests—it is strongly implied to have a hand in the 1954 coup d'etat that overthrew President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman of Guatemala and installed a CIA-backed dictator in his place. It didn't take long for leftist guerrillas to spring up in Central America and push back, supported by Cuba.
  • Due to fears that the newly independent government of the Congo would nationalise their industry, Belgian mining interests bankrolled the secession of two Congo provinces, Katanga and South Kasai, including the recruiting of mercenaries to defend them.
  • Pepsi briefly owned one of the largest navies in the world. Subverted though, despite all the jokes about the company attempting to finally win the cola wars. The Soviet Union decided to finally give up on its many failed attempts to make a cola that could compete with Coca Cola and just buy some Coke's major stateside competitor, Pepsi. Only Soviet currency was almost completely worthless internationally so the USSR and Pepsi had to barter. The agreement is that the Soviet Union would give Pepsi Russian Vodka, which at the time had been attributed almost mystical properties stateside similar to Cuban cigars now, and in exchange the Pepsi company would provide its signature beverage for the Soviet proletariat to enjoy. It worked well for a while and Pepsi and the USSR made a surprisingly effective team. However several factors, including the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and other Vodkas made outside of Russia increasing in quality, suddenly global demand for Russian Vodka became a lot less. Instead the Soviet Union started trading off old warships it didn't need to Pepsi for their scrap metal value. Pepsi did scrap them, but it hasn't stopped rumors that Pepsi still has a ballistic missile submarine hidden somewhere just in case.
  • The so-called "Egg War". During the California Gold Rush food prices in the San Francisco area led some enterprising suppliers to the nearby Farallon Islands, home to major nesting colonies of murre, which laid eggs the size of softballs. Shortly after, the Pacific Egg Company was formed to establish a monopoly on eggs from the islands, who got into gunfights more than once with rival "eggers" ranging from Italian fishermen to government lighthouse-keepers.