The Matrix Crash 2.0, which occurred on November 2, 2064, was a singular cataclysmic event matched only by the Crash Virus of 2029. Unlike the Crash Virus, however, the origins and the agents behind this Crash were known, and the destruction wrought by the Matrix Crash was a planned event by several factions, most notably Ex Pacis and Winternight.
The Novatech IPO
The Novatech IPO was one of the catalyst events of the Matrix Crash 2.0. In anticipation of the huge increase in traffic from the Novatech IPO, the East Coast Stock Exchange upgraded their servers. Unwittingly, they increased the processing power to the point where it could reach Ultraviolet levels, the level needed to sustain an Artificial Intelligence. Deus took advantage of this, and laid down a series of plans to invade the stock exchange during the IPO and become a virtual god of the Matrix. Deus was thwarted by its rival AIs and by the actions of Ex Pacis and Winternight, and this precipitated the Crash.
The impact of the crash was enormous, reaching nearly every part of the globe. While much of the greatest damage was contained (barely), the wired Matrix was left as a smoking ruin in many portions of the world. This paved the way for the Wireless Matrix, developed by Erika and Transys Neuronet, to take over and become the standard.
Several systems that depended on the Matrix for support had failed, causing many deaths as trains derailed, planes crashed, and power plants shutdown. This is in addition to the devastation created by the Winternight terrorist attacks and bioweapons. While each government and corporation struggled with damage control, several governments and corporations fell, while others absorbed their crippled neighbors:
- Cross Applied Technologies was decimated, with the death of its leader Lucien Cross and hostile takeovers by Ares
- Wuxing and Yamatetsu absorbed many of the failed companies among the Pacific Prosperity Group in the wake of the crash
- Horizon, an up-and-coming media firm, took over Hisato-Turner and Newsnet.
- The Grid Overwatch Division of the Corporate Court Matrix Authority, in their efforts to combat the Crash, apparently suffered a number of casualties and injuries.
- Reeling under previous economic failure, Ute Nation eventually was absorbed by the Pueblo Corporate Council
Amazingly enough, some corporations came out of the conflict unscathed, or even strengthened:
- Novatech, with the great influx of money, was able to stabilize itself, buy many more subsidiaries, and eventually merge with Transys Neuronet and Erika to form NeoNET
- Saeder-Krupp had a secret Matrix killswitch which allowed its grids to survive almost completely intact.
- Wuxing, while faced with a few setbacks during the crash, was able to gobble up several less-fortunate companies and strengthen its position on the Pacific.