Biotechnica's first break-through came in 1991
―when the corporation developed a substitute of fossil fuels called CHOOH2 that solved the energetic crisis. Selling the exclusive license for manufacturing and distribution to the energy giant Petrochem, back them Parker Petrochemicals, and becoming a subsidiary of them for a short period of time. Later, when the CHOOH2 became the standard fuel this priced license was sold to other 14 manufactures around the world, although Petrochem is still responsible for 60% of the world’s supply as they also have the largest amount of soil to grow the genetically modified yeast needed for its production. This discovery made Biotechnica a big bundle of eddies and elevated them to the category of Megacorporation, although, still not a big one and in a world where most Megacorps have their own armies to defend themselves from other Megacorps. Biotechnica was in a disadvantage as they didn’t have their own army, that’s why they were constantly making deals with the security contractor Arasaka who provided troops in exchange for particular biological weapons designed exclusively for the Japanese conglomerate.
Their second discovery was to be kept in secret since it’s banned in most countries and considered not exactly ethic: in 2004 the back then Ph.D. candidate Francis Young was capable of cloning a human being, although it wasn’t until 2020 and inside a Biotechnica lab that he succeeded in producing the first self-aware fully functional human clone by implanting a construct personality into a cloned body. Initially, this construct personality was entirely artificial, but Biotechnica soon began experimenting to insert natural digitalized personalities in clones using technology similar to the Soul Killer.
One of the applications of this discovery was the attempt to create cloned super-soldiers, but the first attempts were a disaster, and the subjects were too prone to go psychotic and kill everybody left and right. The main cloning research facility of Biotechnica in Night City used to be in the district of Heywood before the reconstruction of Night City, and hosted a staff of about 200 scientists, techs, and security. Now that Heywood became a housing district I wonder where did they moved their offices to, or if in 2077 south Heywood is still an industrial area.
Biotechnica is also specialized in the design and fabrication of biological weapons, and that’s a good reason why it never gets involved in any of the Corporate Wars, because it rather staying neutral and selling its products to both sides of the conflict. They also produce drugs, including recreational, anti-aging, and combat-drugs.
They always fought to bring back part of the flora and the fauna that was lost in the climate change in the 90s, so they were constantly experimenting on this field. They even build a natural park, the Lake Park, in Night City in the 20s, where people could even walk around natural trees. They also cloned animals in an attempt to preserve them, or selling them for insanely high amounts of money, or with other shadier objectives in mind as they collaborated with International Electric Corporation to create a breed of guardian dogs with human traits but without a human personality that looked like out of a nightmare.
Biotechnica was, apparently, one of the very few Megacorporations that the master of netrunners, and corporate enemy, Rache Bartmoss was capable of respecting. as Biotechnica fought hard to keep the environment from getting any more trashed and appeared to have a clean record. Although other edgerunners had a less naïve perspective, as even though if they haven’t indulged in the sort of large-scale scams and abuses other Megacorps seem to make the base of their everyday life with. They crossed the line in some things like cloning. Besides, some believe that they see the ecosphere as a precious source of genetic materials and profit, so it’s not like they take care of it out of the goodness of their hearts, but compared to their subsidiaries, and compared to megacorps in general, they’re as decent as you get, which isn’t saying a lot. But, hey, not like they didn’t try to create a breed of cloned super soldiers…
During the 4th Corporate War, Biotechnica remained as neutral as possible, which allowed them to survive the war without many problems, as they supplied Militech and Arasaka weapons and other biological equipment, and although profit is profit and you take care of it like the good Megacorp you are, the Italian Biotech company had a clear favorite as Arasaka was their security provider and the items that were supplied to the Japanese conglomerate could not be available in the market for the American arms manufacturer.
It is thought, although not proved, that Arasaka and Biotechnica’s deal went a little further, as they seemed to be collaborating during the 4th Corporate War beyond this security deal. Arasaka had a cloning facility next to the Soul Killer mainframe of the Arasaka Towers in Night City. At that time, Biotechnica was the only Megacorp with such technology it looked like Arasaka was feeding them with the Engrams of people extracted using their Soul Killer for their experiments, as the first successful fully functional human clone created by Biotechnica had an AI implanted as personality, not a “real person” implanted, so where was the best place to get a huge catalog of natural humans digitalized to implant on clones? From Arasaka, they created constantly as they used the SoulKiller plenty during the 4th. When the strike team led by Johnny Silverhand infiltrated the towers in 2023, they found in the cloning facility tissue samples labeled as “Alt” and “Yorinobu Arasaka”, so its possible that Biotechnica and Arasaka collaborated during the 4th to complete the supersoldier project Biotechnica was developing and needed a lot of polish. It had to be delayed, even though the Biotech megacorp stayed as neutral as possible during the 4th.
As the oceanic Megacorporation that Arasaka was protecting during the war, the french CINO, had in its possession a great reservation of the chemical components Biotechnica needed for the development of anti-aging drugs that were very lucrative. This collaboration was very interesting for Biotechnica on all possible levels. Their collaboration possibly ended when Arasaka was nationalized by the government of Japan as punishment for the war, as Biotechnica doesn't operate in Asia and Arasaka was grounded.
After the 4th Corporate War
as Biotechnica stayed neutral and did great business, they weren’t as affected by the aftermath as other Megacorps. although a world-wide economic crisis affects everybody. They also kept maintaining a decent amount of power in the States and Night City. The city that was hit the hardest during the war. During the reconstruction of America, the Pacifica Confederation, a coalition created to rebuild their member states without the help of the central government, allowed Biotechnica free reign to design and release a number of experimental plants and animals with the hope of restoring the ecology and diversity of the pre-climate change period along with very good results. They also had a hand in the city council of Night City along with other corporations that also wanted to watch over corporate interests: Zetatech and Petrochem, Arasaka was also present in this city council although in a covert manner since their activities were forbidden in continental America after the 4th Corporate War. This political presence of Biotechnica allowed them to get away with some “accidents” in this city, like accidentally releasing the prototype of a combat drug, created in partnership with Militech, in the Combat Zone.
During and after the reconstruction of Night City, Biotechnica also provided the green and exuberant parts of it, like it’s the case of the leisure quarter of Westbrook, so beautiful, the only green spot that delights the eye in all of the Free State of North California.
In 2077 Biotechnica and Arasaka seem to be competition, we don’t know yet how it happened but apparently, the Japanese conglomerate created their own Biotech division, which they used to develop the bio chip that is central to the plot of the game and contains the engram of Johnny Silverhand. Probably this biotech division of Arasaka was created by extracting key researches from Biotechnica and Revolution Genetics, because this is the usual way of doing of Megacorps, but I guess we’ll find out at some point. The same way we’ll find out what happened with this cloned super-soldiers project they abandoned, I’m sure Arasaka, Militech, Lazarus, and Kang Tao would make great use of it.