The Dorklyst: The 20 Most Evil Corporations in Videogame History

By Alex Z. Rogers / March 1, 2013

10. Hyperion Corporation (Borderlands)

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Hyperion Corporation is your typical far-flung future megacorporation. They get a little whiff of alien tech and all they care about is getting more. Not sure that's a sustainable business model, but it seems to pay for lots of mercenaries. Still, their leader, Handsome Jack, is a funny guy with just a great head of hair and a totally real-looking face that you can't help but trust, other than the fact he's trying to murder anyone who gets in his way. And the company is the only real job provider on a planet so desolate it makes Montana seem like a burgeoning center of civilization. Yet another company that made products too cool and deadly not to end up destroying their creators, odds are your character at one point used a gun from Hyperion's own widely sold arsenal to blow some important Hyperion-made stuff into clouds of pixels. But again, that just means it has to get rebuilt which means more construction jobs, so really your character is less an agent of destruction and more a tool of economic vitality.

9. Magog Cartel (Oddworld)

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The Magog Cartel is the parent company from hell. Its more famous subsidiaries RuptureFarms and Soul Storm Brewery manufactured tasty snacks and addictive beverages for the masses while its other industries supported these food-related enterprises. Basically, they're like an evil Nestle. Like all good capitalist pig-dogs, the cigar-chewing CEO didn't let a little thing like the loss of their primary food sources due to over-harvesting slow down the manufacture of tasty snacks for the masses – not when you can just put your slave labor force into the meat grinder instead. I guess the employees at RuptureFarms really put themselves into their products! Ha, a scenario so horrifying, it still gives me night terrors.

Oh, I could also mention how the Glukkons run the company with an army of sligs as enforcers to keep their Mudokon slaves docile, but those all sound like Dr. Seuss words.

8. Vault-Tec (Fallout)

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Vault-Tec is a strange corporate villain in that most of the company and its staff have been long vaporized before even the first game starts. The company marketed itself as the producer of fine vaults – massive, futuristic underground complexes meant to keep you and your loved ones alive in case of sudden nuclear holocaust. It's a seemingly laudable goal though the idea of selling a product that's only useful in case of apocalypse likely made for some nihilistic company retreats. And in the end Vault-Tec is largely responsible for the surviving history, technology, and well, survivors populating the post-nuclear world of Fallout. But in reality, the company's true intentions were much darker. Many of the vaults were designed with specific flaws or other issues as part of a series of experiments to see how human beings would respond to everything from radiation leaks to clones running amok. Naturally, many of the people who thought Vault-Tec had saved their lives ended up dying horribly in the vaults and it's not entirely clear what purpose all those experiments actually served – though if there happens to be another nuclear holocaust we now know what happens when clones run amok in a vault… everyone who isn't a clone dies. So, just keep that in mind.

7. Abstergo Industries (Assassin's Creed)

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Sure, Abstergo seems like just another innocent global pharmaceutical powerhouse (aren't they all?). But in reality, the company is just the public face of the Templar Order, an ancient society of power-mongers. While their rivals in the Assassin Brotherhood were busy with their hippie farm communes and artisanal ice creameries, the Templars got Stanford Business degrees and decided to put fucking man on the goddamn moon. Thanks to artifacts from an advanced proto-human civilization, Abstergo's masters have guided and controlled human technological development. To take down this business behemoth would require a man with a big knife and excellent climbing skills… seriously. Memo to the security staff: request machine guns.

6. Aesir Corporation (Max Payne)

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Big surprise: It's another evil pharmaceutical company! I guess messing with nature for profit makes society a tad uncomfortable. In the gritty, hardboiled world of Max Payne, these corporate goons are just street thugs with nicer suits and hair gel. It seems the majority of the company's profits stem from the illegal trade of powerful drugs that are even more druggy than normal drugs. Other than that it's never stated what other products they actually make. I'm guessing most of the floors in their lavish office tower were dedicated to the legion of accountants who somehow launder millions of dollars of illegal drug money into legal FDA-approved drug money. Those guys deserve a raise.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   corporations   evil
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