The History Behind Outlast’s Protagonist

After a few trailers and extensive demos, one thing is clear about indie survival horror Outlast: it’s downright scary. Even so, details regarding its protagonist, Miles Upshur, have been pretty scarce. That is, until now.

Indie developer Red Barrels has revealed to us that Upshur’s hate towards the Murkoff Corporation started way before the events of the game (meaning before his journey to Mount Massive Asylum, the game’s setting), during a time when he was “gleefully exposing human rights atrocities that lie underneath the corporation’s seemingly charitable business ventures.”

To fully understand Miles’ hate, the developer has provided Analog Addiction with a document written by our journalist, detailing Murkoff Corporation’s schemes. Check it out below.


How Murkoff Turned the Global Water Crisis into a Billion Dollar Revenue Stream

by Miles Upshur

May 9, 2013  2:19pm


Nine-year old Akosua stands before the water-vending machine with its bright “ALSAB” logo, a few bills clutched in her small hand. You can still see the blank place on the machine’s hull where the words “Freeflow Global Charities” was pried away last year.

She explains that 2 cedis (about $1) will buy her five liters of purified water, which her Cholera-afflicted mother desperately needs. But 17 cedis at the Worldfree Clinic would buy her mother the course of antibiotics that would shorten the disease’ course and possibly save her life. It’s a terrible choice for a child to make, and one facing more and more of the world’s 1.6 billion inhabitants without access to clean drinking water.

More than a quarter of Accra’s citizens buy their water from Wellspring Industries, either monthly through their taps, or directly from the ubiquitous, bright yellow Alsab machines. What few Ghanians know, however, is the hidden connection between Wellspring Industries, Alsab, Freeflow Global Charities, and Worldfree Clinics.

All of them are subsidiaries of the multinational Murkoff Corporation.

In an increasingly clear partnership between Western Capitalism and Third World corruption, the Murkoff Corporation has used its dozens of subsidiaries to open back doors into selling the source of life to drought-starved populations in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.

Here’s how it works: a newly-started charity, fueled largely by donations, establishes a water supply and sewage systems for communities whose well water has been rendered non-potable by industrial runoff. Murkoff gets the tax write-off for charitable spending, while their subsidiary Alsab gets the profits for building and installing the system. When the cost of running the system becomes too great, the charity (in Ghana’s case, Freeflow Global) declares bankruptcy and abandons the project. Then Murkoff subsidiary Wellspring Industries (or another Murkoff shell company) steps in and offers the local government completion and maintenance of the project in return for the construction fee and complete deregulation of the water supply, allowing Wellspring/Murkoff to name the price of the population’s water.

As Murkoff is also the owner of the three most active pharmaceutical manufacturers to the Third World, they’ll profit nicely whether the locals choose clean water or cholera.

It’s only the latest in Murkoff’s near-century long history of playing both sides against the middle, maximizing profits at the cost of human rights.  Whether licensing aggressively pollinating, genetically-modified rice with a built in “suicide gene” to India, flipping blood diamond real estate in Angola and Sierra Leone, or peddling amphetamines to the Nazis in World War II, you can’t swing a dead cat in an arena of human suffering without knocking over a Murkoff piggy bank.

Water is fast becoming the new oil, an issue largely ignored by the developed world, by wealthy Americans and Europeans comfortable with their hot showers and iced drinks.

But earlier this year Murkoff subsidiary Heartland Springs Charity began construction of three Alsab-built water purification plants in Detroit. Welcome to New World Water.

Outlast is scheduled to scare you in September 4th, on the PC (via Steam). A PlayStation 4 version is also in the works, coming out sometime in 2014. For anyone attending this weekend’s PAX, you can check out a new demo of Outlast at the Logitech booth, #3630.