Instigating event: The invention of the Impulse Drive.
Relatively safe and inexpensive exploration and exploitation of the solar system is suddenly possible. The governments of earth grant licenses for the privileges to exploit various solar system objects, and the corporations large enough to participate scramble to gain the most valuable.
The Meteor Corporation is formed around a license which grants rights to the Oort Cloud and all “deep space objects” beyond the heliopause. The company invests significant time and resources slowly shifting to distant orbits and setting up a network of ships and stations to detect, intercept, and mine the meteoroid, asteroids, and comets that tumble into the solar system from deeper space.
Instigating event: The invention of the Warp Drive.
Faster than light travel between star systems suddenly opens the rest of the galaxy to humanity. A new gold rush begins, with individuals and companies desperate to be the first to plant their flag on new planets and claim them for their own.
The Meteor Corporation has spent decades developing extreme outer orbit infrastructure, meaning they are in the best position to retrofit their ships with the new drive which can only operate a long distance away from massive objects, such as the sun. This allows them a jump start on exploration, as everyone else must first make the long crawl up the gravity well or else pay through the nose to ride on Meteor ships.
Instigating event: The Galactic Lawsuit.
The Meteor Corporation claims the terms of their original charter extends to all star systems and planets outside of Earth’s solar system. They leverage their early expansion to begin incorporating other deep space companies through buyouts, legal claims, and outright force.
Nearly every extant earth based corporation joins forces in the largest legal suit in history: The Corporations of Earth vs The Meteor Corporation. As the dispute is fought in courts, the fight expands into espionage, maneuvering, and sometimes outright violent conflicts. Earth based governments are largely displaced as the alliance of companies formally joins hands as a conglomerate. The Terra Company is born.
The mega-corps of Terra Company and Meteor Corporation are the only two significant factions remaining. The conflict has never been fully resolved. The Terra Company holds up the decisions of Earth’s courts which affirm Terra Co as the rightful governing body of all humanity. Meteor Corp rejects the authority of those courts, and maintain their original charter grants them legal, and moral, rights to the rest of the galaxy.
In practical terms both mega-corps simply own what they are physically able to hold and control. This has resulted in the human expansion bubble being incredibly fractured. Technology, resources, and even life is distributed in a hugely uneven way. The conflict persists on smaller scales, the mega-corps working with the other when they believe they can gain an edge, but being equally willing to engage in open warfare.
This uneven, fractured, inconsistent, and often violent galaxy is where this game occurs. The players will have to try and find meaning and a living in the cracks left between the two corporate goliaths.