1996 Saburo Arasaka is born in Kyoto, Japan.
1997 ZovOil, a mega oil corporation, is built as a conglomerate from other oil companies in Russia. The merging of the companies is the work of mastermind Leonid Zovolodchikova. The main offices of ZovOil are based in Moscow, Russia.
2000 Morgan Blackhand is born in San Francisco, California.
The “Y2K bug” is a hoax and has no effect on society.
2005 Arasaka Corporation, a security provider, is established in the Ota municipality of Tokyo, Japan by Shinjo Arasaka, father of Saburo Arasaka.
2008 Experimental version of what is later called “braindance” is invented by a young freelance programmer/engineer named Rache Bartmoss. The technology’s early use is on prison inmates at San Quentin State Prison, California to rehabilitate violent offenders and grant them a useful, nonviolent skill set. The initial use left many subjects emotionless and subject to episodes of horrific nightmares and panic attacks.
2009 Shimizu Corporation completes construction of the world’s first Arcology in the Bay of Tokyo, Japan.
The band Samurai is formed in San Francisco, California. The band consists of Johnny Silverhand, Kerry Eurodyne, Bes Isis, and Rogue. Johnny Silverhand formerly belonged to a less popular band known as Dragons and Vampires.
Joint Euro/Russian first manned endeavor departs to Mars, known as Ares 1.
2010 The president of the United States is assassinated. Riots erupt everywhere in the United States, forcing the newly instated president to declare a state of martial law. The US Military is pulled out of many countries around the world and promises of more removal of US Military presence in foreign countries is assured by the president of the United States. Armed military personal inhabit the street corners of every large US city and civil rights for US citizens are all but stripped from them.
A joint effort from the United States and Russia leads to the development of the first orbital colony, designated Demeter 1. The colony is widely unsuccessful and plans for a Demeter 2 are set into motion for launch in 2015.
2011 Xe, also known as Blackwater Worldwide, is officially renamed to Militech and acts as the military for the United States and is funded by tax payers. Militech is used to reestablish the conflicts in the Middle East, which are still widely believed to be actions against religious extremists, but are mainly in place to seize resources such as oil.
2012 The newly-elected president of the United States abolishes the state of martial law and begins reforming government at the roots.
A bioplague is unleashed in Chicago, Illinois. Over the course of three months of quarantine, 17,000 US citizens die. At the order of 112th United States Congress and the President of the United States, the quarantined section of Chicago is obliterated with the prototype of the orbital particle cannon. A number of smaller instances arise about the mid-west states and are dealt with similarly.
The world-wide web is updated with a new program known by the masses as the Net. This upgrade is known as the I-G Transformation. This new program allows users to plug in to a simulated reality and operate their “avatar”, or residual self image (RSI), through the fabricated reality program. A number of methods were employed allowing a user to interface with the Net, but the most common practice was a device crudely known as a “jack”, which was little more than a socket that was hardwired into a user’s brain, allowing a user to “jack in”. A series of hyper-relays are erected which form WorldSat, the framework of the Net.
2013 Alt Cunningham invents the beta version of Soulkiller, a program that would make a digital emulation or copy of a Net user’s mind. Arasaka Corporation kidnaps her, extracts the information from her, and makes a more deadly version that would simultaneously fry the user’s mind after backing it up, allowing a Sysop to interrogate it at will. They then used it on Alt since she was of no further use to them, but her digital “ghost” was recovered by Johnny Silverhand. He incited a riot outside the Arasaka Towers, which resulted in the deaths of some 600 people.
Netwatch is established by a joint US / Eurotheatre treaty. Microtech, a small corporation, creates the first true artificial intelligence at their facility in Sunnyvale, California.
2014 Second Corporate War is waged by oil companies who wish to seize resources from Middle East. The war is short and PetroChem, an American splinter company of the Russian ZovOil, is the undisputed victor. With the aid of Militech and KBR, PetroChem begins building in the Middle East.
2016 The Third Corporate War is officially recognized. The war wages between Arasaka and Militech for control of several defense functions relating to the Net.
Morgan Blackhand becomes something of a legend for his inhuman rate of successful sorties during the Third Corporate War.
2021 Rache Bartmoss finally flatlines, no known reason is given. Fortunately he had top-of-the-line life support to maintain him. Unfortunately, he was too paranoid to trust anyone with his location or leave any means of recovering him. He spends his time deteriorating in a cryogenic freezer (disguised to look like a refrigerator), but his activity on the Net continues.
The self-sustaining Demeter 3 is established in Earth’s orbit with a population of 10,000. Shortly after its establishment, D-3 declares its independence from the joint US/Russian control. Mass-driver technology, originally intended for peaceful transport of personnel and goods, is used to secure the orbital colony’s position as its own sovereign nation.
2023 Two deep-ocean-based megacorporations duel for control over a third one (the period known as the “Ocean War“). One hires the Japanese diversified technology and security services firm Arasaka and the other hires the American military technology and mercenary services firm Militech. The conflict escalates into open warfare.
During the conflict, the long-standing bitter rivalry between Arasaka and Militech causes them to forget about their customers and go for each other, in the beginning quietly (the phase called the “Shadow War“). The covert war between the two heats up, becoming the Fourth Corporate War.
Rache Bartmoss begins corrupting the net. His viruses are widespread and Arasaka Corporation attempts to find him and destroy him, using mercenaries and even orbital mass-drivers and ion weaponry. Rache eludes all attempts on his “life”.
2024 Arasaka Corporation mobilizes the Japanese Defense Force to take on Militech and the American Military in a series of “proxy conflicts”, starting what is known as the Hot War. Waves of cyberviruses corrupt databases worldwide, leaving the isolated Arasaka Towers arcology in Night City the last viable data storage mainframe in the world.
Militech gathers together a “meta-team”. Their job: to take out Arasaka’s Night City arcology with a tactical nuke to deny its assets to Arasaka. The end result is that the “meta-team” goes out in a blaze of glory. In the end, Morgan Blackhand then takes on Arasaka’s cyborg assassin Adam Smasher atop Arasaka Towers while the few surviving members of the team get extracted out. The outcome of the duel is greatly disputed because the low-yield tactical nuke the team deployed sets off the 2-kiloton “self destruct” bomb Arasaka had placed in its data core. This destroyed much of downtown Night City and contaminated the ruins and the rest of the city with lethal fallout for 30 years.
2029 A mutated plant virus infects crops and food stores in Canada, leading to the fall of federal parliamentary government. A series of local governments are formed and a number of refugees flee south to the United States.
2032 A Cold War is waged between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. This war quickly becomes hot due to political mishaps and, with the aid of Russia, Alaska is seized from the United States by China. The US quickly retaliates with the annexation of Canada and the call for allies from the United Nations.
2070 Current year. Current date April 24, 2070.