Glowing world

The world of 2050 has a very different set of geopolitical and economic challenges from the pre-Collapse world. In a very real sense, some of the largest economies are now borderless; belonging to supra-national, semi-sovereign mega-corporations with offices and plants in almost every nation. These corporate superpowers wield massive influence over traditional states and small, covert wars are just as likely to break out among these corporations, using their own in-house security forces and hired mercenaries.

However, nation-states still have relevance, as the primary holders of organized military force and because of that as economic/political entities in their own right able to tax and make legislation that can locally affect even the mega-corps. Unlike 2010, however, the world of 2050 is a multi-polar one, with several nations vying for superpower status. The largest national powers in 2050 by economic strength (GDP per capita) – in order – are China, India, the U.S.A., the Northern Union, Brazil, Russia, Canada, The Islamic Republic. Second order economic powers include Indonesia, the UK, Japan, Nigeria, Korea, Italy and South Africa.

Militarily, however, the U.S. has kept its lead in both quantity and quality, mainly by bank-breaking overspending on its military-industrial complex. The also-rans begin with China and India, then the Northern Alliance and Islamic Republic, Russia, Canada and Brazil. The U.S. still spends more on its military than all other nations except for those seven combined, and corporate factories based in the U.S. still produce the bulk of the world’s military equipment and arms.

Worldwide, the balkanization and civil wars of The Collapse have, if not altered the map hugely, then at least made understanding what’s going on at ground level far more complicated. The most extreme effect of this trend was the partial break-up of the U.S. Losing the Californias and Texas wiped 18% of the United States’ GDP while losing Alaska deprived it of many valuable resources. Since the Collapse, as the globe finds a new post-peak-oil equilibrium, the rise of the megacities – vast urbanized areas which were born at the tail end of the last century – has made many former local boundaries obselete. Take for example the Great Plains Metroplex, a sprawling city encompassing former urban footprints of Detroit, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago and spreading as far as St Louis and Minneapolis. The U.S. States and cities this huge megacity covers are now simply administrative regions of the G.P.M. Authority. The same holds true for the Boston Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, Texas Tri-Cities, Europlex Core and other metropolises.


There are plenty of places around the world where insurgencies and outright warfare, or the threat of it, combine to make the world a more dangerous place. Many of these flashpoints have the potential to flare up into more widespread conflicts.

  • Indo-Chinese Cold War. Ever since the nuclear war between Pakistan and India, these two nuclear superpowers have watched each other warily and built up their militaries with an eye to the other’s capabilities. Covert operations, small incidents and proxy conflicts are rife in the region and often spill over into the wider world. The prospect of an outright war between the two is still the most frightening possibility for conflict in the world of 2050.
  • African Conflicts. There are so many failed states in Africa following decades of war, plagues and famine that it could almost be called the first Failed Continent. South Africa holds on by the skin of it’s teeth but further North the continent has become a bloody tapestry of tribal feuds and food wars, punctuated by proxy battles between clients of superpowers like india and China or between corporations scrabbling for scarce resources.
  • The Middle East. Nowadays controlled by the relatively stable Greater Islamic Republic, the mid-East still sees more than its fair share of fundementalist terrorism, albeit now the Salafists aim at their reformed co-religionists. The ruins of the cities of Medinah, Tabuk and Doha are no longer lethally radioactive but stand as reminders of the United States’ swift vengeance. Israel has collapsed under the twin pressures of refugees and demographics, but the Jewish people of the Second Diaspora still have dreams of a return and know they’d have to fight for a homeland again.
  • U.S. Militia Wars. There are over 300 armed militia groups scattered across the United States. Organized into paramilitary groups that follow a military-style rank hierarchy and often employing military weapons, many militia extremists view themselves as protecting the U.S. Constitution, other U.S. laws, or their own individual liberties. On both far left and right, they believe that the Constitution grants citizens the power to take back the federal government by force or violence – a step they say they regret but one that has become necessary. Regular outbreaks of terrorism and localized revolt are a feature of American life nowadays and although each occurence is usually swiftly dealt with by the federal authorities the potential remians for matters to escalate into an all-out civil war or insurrection.
  • Mexico. The Republic of Texas is still heavily involved in supporting the Mexican military government against the drug cartels and left-wing revolutionaries. With over 60,000 Texan troops across the border, officially as “advisors” but fully engaged in blooody counter-insurgency operations, the Texan government would be bankrupt were it not for aid from the U.S. and a flourishing arms industry it can showcase to the world. However, Brazil and China are both interested in gaining influence in the region and rumors of aid to insurgents are rife.
  • U.S.-Canadian Border. The border between these rival powers, one capitalist and the other socialist, is one of the most heavily armed and guarded in the modern world but is both long and across desolate country for the most part – and so full of holes. The potential for incidents that escalate out of control is high, and military leaders on both sides liase to minimize tensions.
  • Antartica. With the expiry two years ago of the treaty prohibiting development of the continent, corporate and national interests have poured into the region in search of resources. The potential for conflict is high.
  • Space. A complex and multi-faceted Cold War between corporations and states, much like that in Antartica, also makes space a potential conflict area. So far, mutual self-interest has kept that war to covert actions only. The orbital magacorps like H.U.B. need “dirtside” states as markets and are by no means strong enough to try for conquest by force of arms. By turn, the major state powers have the forces but are hampered by their gravity well and by their need for megacorporate business. Meanwhile, “dirtside” megacorps like Armatech ally with states against the orbitals and the orbitals against states, depending on the moment.


Edgerunners Langy Langy