Stellaris: MegaCorp Review

Paradox Interactive continues with the old practice of releasing DLCs for existing games. Sure, a lot of them improve the base games and some even add enough new things to be worth the money. Speaking of money, it has also been a great cash cow for Paradox, which is why so many look at their DLCs with skepticism. One of the latest new expansions from Paradox is the new DLC for Stellaris called MagaCorp.

Starting at the Beginning

If you have checked my other reviews (Crusader Kings II), you already know I love the grand strategy genre. In fact, I have to admit a personal bias from the start, as I enjoy most of the games made or published by Paradox, Stellaris being no exception.

The original game was released in 2016. This was the first time Paradox left the historic grand strategy game genre and made a space strategy game that was a direct competitor to other 4X games at the time.

However, even then Stellaris was a unique 4X title. In addition to expanding and achieving domination, Stellaris brought a wealth of unpredictable events and wonders. The research ships you send to investigate planetary systems will occasionally find relics of past civilizations, unexplained artifacts or natural phenomena that require deeper research. In addition to competing civilizations that start from the same area as your, there are also “fallen empires”, remains of civilizations that have long since passed its zenith and only artifacts remain to testify to their past glory.

Since 2016, Paradox has published six DLCs that have changed the original game: Leviathans, Utopia, Synthetic Dawn, Apocalypse, Distant Stars and the latest addition MegaCorp.

Let’s Get to Work

Stellaris MegaCorp was released in early December, 2018. I tried it for the first time in January and quickly realized the game is further changed by MegaCorp. The biggest and foremost change is the addition of corporate culture. CEOs of a Mega Corporation can conduct business on a galaxy-wide scale with a host of new civics. Basically globalization, but on a galactic level.

By building Branch Offices on the planets within the empires they have trade agreements with, the MegaCorp can add a part of the planet’s Trade Value to their own network. Using the new Corporate Authority, you can become an economic powerhouse and dominate galactic trade.


Although I like to play with other people, for this review I decided to go for a theocracy called the Kingdom of Yondarim, a civilization of Avian people.

The first thing you’ll notice after you install the DLC is the redesign of the planets themselves. In earlier versions of the game, each planet had a number of sectors, some of which had a bonus for a particular type of construction.  Now each planet has resident, energy, mining and agricultural sectors, whose number depends on the size and type of the planet. You expand these capacities by simply investing in minerals, and having a surplus population.

I quickly expanded my empire and ran into the first mega corporation, which immediately started diplomatic talks about trade agreements, as well as the opening of their office on my territory. In addition to trade with mega corporations, you also get extra energy that you can use to speed up research or develop your military power.

In the further expansion of my theocratic empire, I also met with another type of mega corporations. This was a criminal empire that managed to develop its criminal activities on the territory of my empire through its agents. Trust me, it took a lot of time and effort to defeat these space mobsters and stop their criminal activities.

The DLC also expands on the economy. Each system in the game has its own trade value that you are picking up through commercial routes, which depend on space stations with economic modules. The game also includes commercial caravans that will offer you a variety of things in exchange for anything and everything, as well as the galactic stock exchange for purchase of resources.

The game also enables you to develop your planet to a Mega City world, similar to Coruscant, the city-covered planet in Star Wars. The Ecumenopolis is useful as it provides jobs for processed resources, allowing your other worlds to focus on producing raw resources.

MegaCorp gameplay video

A Galaxy Far Away…

So yes, the MegaCorp DLC brings new game options and possibilities. However, that might be the problem. It’s more about bringing new options than refining the existing ones. If you already thought the game is complicated, this DLC won’t help at all. In fact, for many players this addition further complicates the game. If you go through some of the comments on Steam, many seem to think that the economics have changed too greatly. Many of the players do not like these changes, feeling they might lose their energy and minerals overnight.

On Steam, only 60% of the players gave a positive opinion at the time of writing.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I can say that I like MegaCorp. A few hours in and I was having a fun with the changes. I personally think that with this DLC Paradox has additionally improved this game and enriched the experience. There were moments I had the feeling I really was a ruler of a galactic empire. Can you ask more of a game?

Sure, further refinement and streamlining of some options can also benefit overall gameplay. And this being Paradox, you can expect that and more in the next Stellaris DLCs.

+ Pros

Adds further play options and enriches gameplay
Mega corporations work for me

– Cons

Further complicates the game
For $20 you can buy a full game

Gaming Guide Score

Concept - 8
Gameplay - 8
Graphics & Sound - 8


We Like It

I think MegaCorp improves Stellaris and enriches its gameplay, at the expense of simplicity and $20. There were moments I had the feeling I really was a ruler of a galactic empire. What more can you ask of a game?

User Rating: 3.8 ( 1 votes)

About Mark Veljkovic

Mark was born in Serbia. He has been interested in computers since he can remember. After playing Sid Meier’s Civ for the first time he fell in love with gaming and to this day he is a passionate gamer. He enjoys real-time strategies and FPSs, but he is also into RPGs. He is the Art Director of the site and a part of the Editorial team.

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