April 29th 2015
Deemed a “mega-corporate monster” by the Terra Gazette for their growing portfolio consisting of acquired companies and even an entire planet, ArcCorp had previously been best known as the manufacturer of immensely popular quantum drives and thrusters. However, since their purchase of Stanton III from the UEE, their dedication to the creation of a privately-owned manufacturing world has overshadowed the company’s other accomplishments. With its place as one of the largest corporations in the Empire firmly intact, it is hard to believe that ArcCorp’s first iteration failed.
ArcCorp began as a deep-space exploration consortium in 2687. Started in a shipping container by a group of friends, the company aimed to use their lone Zeus IV spacecraft to locate and catalog jump points. Pooling credits (that included a lottery win and an unexpected inheritance) the quartet of friends began exploring the universe. They managed to discover a single jump point, but it was quickly deemed unstable and unsuitable for public use. Realizing that deep space exploration might not be the most fruitful endeavor, ArcCorp shifted their dwindling funds into the mining sector, and through a series of fortuitous moves acquired mineral rights to plots of land on newly discovered planets. Finding resources proved easier than jump points and it wasn’t long before the renamed ArcCorp Mining Consortium became significantly more profitable then the company had ever been before.
In the early 28th century, ArcCorp became involved with BCK, a massive conglomerate at the forefront of the terraforming industry. By then, ArcCorp had expanded beyond mineral rights and began to acquire land acquisitions to flip for planetary settlements. The positive synergy between the two companies resulted in record profits for both. ArcCorp’s expert salesmen could lockdown terraforming rights and have BCK process the world quickly and cheaply.
To the surprise of many, including BCK, ArcCorp used their skyrocketing profits to mount a hostile takeover of the terraforming company. The takeover was successful thanks to leaked documents revealing a series of scandals involving BCK’s CEO, but a later lawsuit claimed that ArcCorp paid a whistleblower to make the false accusations of corporate malfeasance. Even though the charges were eventually thrown out, there had been enough damage to BCK’s credibility that ArcCorp was able to move forward with the acquisition. It was neither the first nor the last time the company would be accused of dirty or unethical tactics when acquiring competitors.
In 2771, another event altered ArcCorp’s destiny. Looking to solve a problem with legacy orbital platforms, they acquired a small thruster manufacturer called NovaLight. Although the company had excellent engineers and a new line of thruster designs ready to ship, they lacked the infrastructure to mass manufacture, market, or sell them. The buyout, initially seen by observers as an overextension, lit a spark. While it took two quarters for ArcElite-branded thrusters to turn a profit, once word-of-mouth spread, they quickly became the preferred thrusters for many pilots. ArcCorp thrusters revolutionized the industry, and its technology is still considered the standard.
With two highly successful mergers under their belt, then CEO Carol Han quickly sought more acquisitions to expand ArcCorp’s growing portfolio. With the success of the ArcElite, the company’s manufacturing needs were rapidly growing, leading their next purchase to be a small maker of cargo-loader drones. From there, it seemed like almost every quarter there was a new announcement of a company or brand joining the ArcCorp family. This period of near non-stop growth was capped in 2865 when ArcCorp placed a bid for what would not only mark their largest purchases to date, but one of the biggest expenditures by a corporation in history.
Stanton was first explored by the UEE after the system was discovered in 2851. The government used eminent domain to claim possession of the planet, and in 2865 sold it to ArcCorp, making them one of the few mega-corporations to own their own world. Construction began immediately and heavily influenced by the design mentality used in the sprawling Xi’an manufacturing planets to create a dedicated production world. ArcCorp employed construction methodologies common across the alien empire to promote the planet’s quick development. These techniques proved so successful that ArcCorp’s carefully calibrated resource supply chain couldn’t keep up with the pace of construction.
Today, this massive, terraformed super-Earth is one of the most industrialized worlds in the UEE. Nestled around the planet’s oceans and mountain ranges is a vast network of skyscrapers, factories, expansive warehouses, support service buildings, office spaces, and employee habitation centers. Though it may seem like a chaotic tangle of buildings when observed from orbit, there is actually a well-thought out methodology to the madness. ArcCorp employed organizational and supply chain experts when zoning and planning the planet. By strategically building manufacturing facilities across ArcCorp they were able to ease hauler traffic and allow for a steady flow of goods to and from the world. To make sure that manufacturing can continue round the clock, ArcCorp rotates production through different facilities, taking them offline at strategic times for routine maintenance. With this approach, the company also never runs at full capacity. Instead, they keep a percentage of their facilities idling, ready to be ramped up at a moment’s notice of a sudden surge in demand or a shut down at another plant.
Most importantly though, ArcCorp sought to open their industrial utopia to all companies. Inviting anyone to rent space and set up shop on their world, ArcCorp is different than the other private corporate planets in Stanton who prefer to restrict access to competition. Instead, ArcCorp has sought to bring as much business and infrastructure to their planet as possible. While some companies were at first worried about moving to the world due to ArcCorp’s aggressive acquisition practices, in the end the business friendly infrastructure was too tempting for many to pass up. Partitioning the planet into smaller lots differentiated by “Area” designations, companies looking to streamline their production process soon began flocking to ArcCorp. Rather than sourcing parts and resources from several different worlds, it is now possible for multiple companies to have their entire manufacturing pipeline all in the same “Area.” Plus, Stanton’s central location within the UEE makes it an ideal distribution hub. The sheer amount of economic growth on the world has attracted skilled labor and workers from across the Empire, making it easy for companies to have their pick of top talent.
Of course, not everything on ArcCorp is strictly about working. In addition to providing social hubs for employees, certain Areas have specifically been developed with visitors and off-world consumers in mind by offering shopping, entertainment and dining options. Most famous among these landing zones is Area18. Centered around Memphis Avery’s now iconic ArcCorp sculpture, Area18 embodies this unique world by presenting a neon drenched, hyper-developed location packed with business opportunities and beautiful vistas. It may be a highly curated view of this unique world, and not representative of the world as a whole, but it remains a location worth exploring.