In Ready Player One, two huge multinational conglomerates control the internet: GSS and IOI.

But are any current-day tech companies still in existence? Do Google, Apple, Facebook, etc, still exist, or did IOI/GSS put them out of business?

1 Answer 1


YouTube still exists.

I watched a lot of YouTube videos of cute geeky girls playing ’80s cover tunes on ukuleles. Technically, this wasn’t part of my research, but I had a serious cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish that I can neither explain nor defend.

It's even implied Youtube was still in common use (and not just for old-video research purposes):

I considered teleporting to Incipio before my “interview,” to buy a new skin for my avatar. Maybe a tailored suit. Something flashy and expensive. But then I thought better of it. I had nothing to prove to that corporate asshat. After all, I was famous now. I would roll into the meeting wearing my default skin and a f***-off attitude. I would listen to their offer, then tell them to kiss my simulated ass. Maybe I’d record the whole thing and post it on YouTube.

However, Google doesn't seem to have retained the brand-name advantage it has now:

I prepped for the meeting by pulling up a search engine and learning everything I could about Nolan Sorrento.

Search Engine. Not Google.

Apple only merits a mention for its old Apple I and II computers, and Microsoft and others merit no mention at all. This is most likely explained by:

The OASIS quickly became the single most popular use for the Internet, so much so that the terms “OASIS” and “Internet” gradually became synonymous. And the incredibly easy-to-use three-dimensional OASIS OS, which GSS gave away for free, became the single most popular computer operating system in the world.

  • 2
    +1 - It has been a minute since I listened to the book, but I think you got them all. Obviously there were no car, store, or 'job/work' company plugs given the "seclusion" of the characters. Any references to deliveries, transportation, food, drink, and the like were kept generic or new companies as I remember... which would rule out Amazon, Fed-Ex, Coca-cola, Pizza Hut, etc. I think most non-techs would still exist, but tech wise GSS, IOI, and the rest of new emerging "OASIS related" companies are taking over. If you saw the bulk of your business from software or hardware you are obsolete.
    – Odin1806
    Sep 16, 2018 at 18:40
  • Bill Gates is mentioned by name in the book. Oct 14, 2018 at 17:24

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