In this Cyberpunk 2077 Lore, we shall examine
Diverse Media Systems aka DMS which was founded in 1988, in post Collapse Los Angeles, by
former Columbia Records executive James Haughton II. Haughton was bored by what he thought
was the evolution of the entertainment media into predictable, cliché-trodden pathways.
Haughton recognized the entertainment potential in the emergence of new technologies and social
structures, and wanted a corporation built from the ground up to capitalize on them.
Or, at least that was the plan on paper. By the time DMS was getting started, Network
54 was already established as the main player in the market. When N54 executives looked
at creative new media start-ups, their modus operandi focused on acquisition. This aggressive,
hostile-takeover strategy was propelling N54 toward the stratosphere, but in arrogantly
predicting his own success, Haughton had foreseen the inevitability of clashing with N54 and
had prepared accordingly. When N54 made their first overtures in the
boardroom, and on Wall Street, Haughton politely informed them that he was not interested in
being a subsidiary of Network 54. When they waved off Haughton’s protestations and launched
a full scale hostile takeover bid, Haughton took the steps that would define the relationship
between N54 and DMS for the foreseeable future. He sent an envelope to the N54 boardroom containing
enough blackmail material to ruin four marriages, destroy a myriad of political careers and
result in at least six indictments for offenses ranging from theft to possible treason. N54
acquiesced and quashed its takeover bid within twenty-four hours. It is said the subsequent
feud continues to generate a substantial body count to this day. In many respects this rivalry
is second only to that between Arasaka and Militech.
Once DMS established its independence, it set about building the Media Corporation of
the Future. Their extensive portfolio now encompassed concert promotion, music, movies,
braindance and network television. DMS started to gain notoriety as it attempted to acquire
notable talents such as Kerry Eurodyne and Johnny Silverhand after Samurai separated.
Despite DMS resorting to physical intimidation and blackmail ultimately the former Samurai
would sign a package deal with Universal. That said, Samurai drummer, Denny did sign
with DMS. A name synonymous with both DMS and N54, also
considered to be a legend by many in the field of programming was Howard Wong. Wong climbed
the ranks of N54 over five years, beginning his career as a programming assistant in 2000
after being lured away from an ailing Dreamworks SKG.
Wong’s ideas rapidly propelled him to prominence, and he was named Chief of Programming at N54
in 2003. For two years, Wong ruled N54’s television programming department and television
talent recruitment. During his tenure, N54 shattered all prime-time records with a cornucopia
of shows still warmly remembered. When Wong’s contract expired in 2005 DMS
lured him away with a record contract, valued by some at over a billion dollars. Wong became
CEO of DMS. For four years, Wong did for DMS what he had been doing for N54, propelling
their prime-time line-up to record ratings and revenues. He annexed, stole and cajoled
to build the corporation into a national media contender. Wong was responsible for DMS’ aggressive
exploitation of new technologies, which made them leaders in the high-tech territories
of braindance entertainment and computer imagery. He was the driving force behind the joint
venture with Militech and Braindance Inc. Simultaneously, he pushed the company into
the high profit fields of movie production and rockerboy promotion. In a few short years,
DMS hit the major leagues of media mega-corporations. N54 retaliated. They launched a black operation
to extract Wong from DMS. After a fierce gun battle, Wong was being spirited away from
the DMS chalet on the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman on a corporate jet. Twenty minutes
after take-off that jet was shot down, allegedly by Lazarus Group fighter jets hired by DMS
and scrambled from Guantanamo Airfield in Cuba. DMS would rather see Wong dead than
employed again by their nemesis. For many, the tale of Howard Wong ended there,
a brilliant talent destroyed by the competition for his services. However, questions have
begun to emerge. Examination of the crash site in the Caribbean and recovery of the
wreckage of the plane yielded three badly damaged bodies, the pilot, the co-pilot and
Wong. Genetic testing of the remains appeared to confirm that it was Wong, leading to an
official confirmation of his death. In the years since then, rumours have begun to surface
that Wong is still alive. Various reports having him living in seclusion in Monaco and Switzerland.
Both DMS and N54 insist that Wong is dead, but naturally the conspiracy theories and
rumours continue. Some commentators have suggested that Wong,
tired of the industry, staged his own death, arranging the extraction and the air crash.
Some have suggested that a cloned shell body may have replaced the real Wong. Conspiracy
theories are inflamed by irregularities in the coroner’s report, including the rapid
cremation of the alleged corpse. If the legendary Wong were to return in Cyberpunk
2077, its been implied that it would be the catalyst that finally starts an all-out war
between N54 and DMS. After Wong’s death DMS put up a solid corporate
front, but insiders knew that behind the placid facade the shareholders struggled for control.
At first the company was run by Jonathon Houghton II, the original founder of DMS. Houghton
II proved more conservative a CEO than Wong. He continued the new directions Wong had begun,
choosing to solidify his position within those new markets rather than diversify into any
further areas. He also scaled down the conflict with N54, preferring to fight in the boardroom
rather than on the streets. Others in the company, notably his son Jonathon Houghton
III, disagreed with the new CEO and wanted DMS to continue the aggressive stance it had
under Wong, eventually he would take over from his father.
Jonny would immediately put his own stamp on DMS, stepping up internal research on new
media technologies, aggressively pursuing corporate espionage and black ops, and intensifying
the conflict with N54. A year after the Howard Wong conflagration, the rivalry between N54
and DMS had cooled to boardroom jockeying. However, Jonny recognized the publicity and
espionage values in open conflict and the body bag counts rapidly increased.
Under the direction of the new CEO, DMS was no longer content with operating the second-place
network. They revamped their programming with a new line of sensationalist content designed
to attract a younger audience. Livestreaming shows such as CyberSquad and Trauma Team.
On CyberSquad, DMS cameramen ride with the Night City police cyberteam on psycho terminations.
Unsurprisingly CyberSquad was a critical hit. The Trauma Team show follows a similar format.
DMS’s flagship news program is The Weekly World Enquirer, or WWE. Admittedly the lore
was written prior to WWF changing to WWE in 2002 so it’s not a deliberate reference.
WWE features spicy takes on the most outrageous stories from around the world. Vampire killings,
Video game companies going woke, aliens, social media drama and slanderous gossip. Despite
almost exclusively being fake news and clickbait, in its first season WWE became the most watched
news program in Night City history. DMS’s movie division scored a major box office hit
with their 100% computer generated special effects spectacular Techno Samurai and the
success of their bands like Crimson Streets firmly established the DMS recording label
in the music world. Thank you for Chippin’In