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Corporate Acquisition Targets

This idea thread is driven off the 'Acquisition Target' discussion during the town hall today. It's also a little rambly, but it is intended to spark ideas on the part of the community and really from staff.

Here are the rough outlines of my idea:

Every month, there are 1-3 (2 is probably the ideal number, but it could be random. 1 is probably too few because it prevents 'dirty alliances' between people to cut out rival companies, and 3 runs the risk of every PC megacorp picking a target and staying in their lane) small companies that are up for sale at the WSB -- maybe call them 'monthly IPOs' or something.

These target companies could be procedurally generated or a GM could custom-design them, but I would consider a couple of common features:

- They should have some kind of product or service they provide that's reasonably understandable. This could procedurally generated off of a list.

- They should have an office, retail or warehouse front somewhere on Gold or Red sector or both. Good candidates would be an office in Skywatch Mall, SK Tower, a distribution center off one of the three crate running warehouses, an office space in Healthline or the AC Mall, a distribution space in the old PRI Robotics Factory, or anything else. You could probably designate 5 or 10 of these locations and rotate through them as companies come and go so that it isn't too predictable. Ideally, there would be an NPC in these locations, though it could be a secretary with the 'Company NPC' existing only on SIC.

- At the WSB, there should be a board listing 'IPO Shares' in each target company. Each week when staff assigns corpshare value, they also give megacorps IPO shares in target companies. At the end of the month (or whatever period), the megacorp with the most IPO shares acquires the target company and they get a significant bump in stock price / IC kudos for those involved.

So what moves the needle in acquiring IPO Shares?

Fundamentally, this a weekly, RP-driven accounting based on IC actions and @notes thereof. PCs can come up with plans and implement them.

One specific coded object that could support this would be a MacGuffin variant in each megacorp called something like an 'IPO Authorization Slate'. The slate would have only signature tasks, perhaps with a standard set that would always need to come from OUTSIDE the company. Some initial thoughts might be:

- Legal Expediting (WJF auth)

- Outside Technical Analysis (VS Scientist/NLM Gridworks/NEO Technician auth)

- Independent Security Review (CorpSec or WJF auth)

- Coordinated Media Plan (PR or NLM-TV auth)

- Executive Medical Records Review (VS-Bio, WEC/AWC-doc, or WJF medical auth)

- Independent Business Plan Analysis (HR or Requisitions)

Because no one inside your corp can sign off on one of these authorizations, you will need to bribe/threaten/blackmail/horsetrade with other companies to get them to do the independent reviews required.

Some other coded things that could affect IPO Shares:

- Some MacGuffin projects could be tied to target companies, or target companies could generate their own MacGuffins. Whichever company completes a Target MacGuffin gets IPO shares.

- Physical facilities could be penetrated or defended. This would, frankly, be a great spot for B&E to start existing, but there's plenty of other ways to handle it, too. For instance, if there's paydata related to target companies in a WSB vault or something behind retinal doors that guards pass through on a schedule, there's an opportunity for people to sneak in and out and steal it. Or something. (I generally think that more opportunities for that sort of thing would be good.)

In general, though, the payoff would not in the coded systems (frankly I think there are plenty of topside coded systems already) but in the existence of a formal scoreboard and a defined thing to compete over.

PCs can come up with all kinds of clever ideas, to be honest, and plot and plan with each other. Right now, though, the world can seem pretty broad -- I think by giving people a few things to compete over every month (and maybe the interval should be longer -- it could run at the same quarter system as corpshare), you will be able to focus corporate characters into having something to compete over organically.