|“||Boy, have we got a vacation for you...||”|
–a slogan from the Westworld (1973) movie poster
|“||Boy, have we got a show for you...||”|
–Jonathan Nolan, 2017, reddit
Delos Incorporated, is a large and wealthy corporation and the parent company of Delos Destinations Inc., the subsidiary that finances, creates and runs the various parks, including most notably Westworld. Engerraund Serac is currently the majority shareholder of the corporation, with plans to dismantle the company.
Delos Inc. is a corporation in the near-future Westworld universe that was founded and run by James Delos. It has an apparent market cap in the hundreds of billions. Delos appears to be a diversified conglomerate of which Delos Destinations is only a substantial part. By the end of season one, Delos and its subsidiaries have controlled Westworld more or less successfully for thirty years, initially saving it from financial trouble with a capital infusion, and then again at William's suggestion.
Initial events are unclear, however, it is highly likely that Argos Initiative was the sole equity holder of Westworld in the early days following its founding. The park was acquired by Delos after Logan had the hosts demonstrated to him, however. Later on, after William had visited the park and met Dolores, he convinced James to further invest in the park.
Delos Destinations, a subsidiary of Delos, operates Westworld (sometimes referred to internally as Park 1) and five other host-driven historical theme parks like it, such as Shōgunworld (Park 2), Warworld (Park 3), and The Raj (Park 6). All human employees at Westworld, including Robert Ford, are all officially Delos employees. William is a major Delos shareholder and board member. It is revealed in the season two that one of James's motivations for investing in the park was to transfer his mind into a host in order to achieve immortality, as well as collect information on park guests, perhaps for similar purposes.
After it became clear that Engerraund Serac was after taking control of the company, Dolores Abernathy set in motion a plan to copy all of Delos' assets — including the process for creating Hosts — and allow Serac to take over the company. After he assumed control, he announced that he would take the most valuable assets from the company and dismantle it, piece by piece. This began with the destruction of all Host bodies from Sub-Level B83, despite the Delos Board objecting that this would destroy over $1 trillion worth of intellectual property.
The company is later rebranded and taken under the control of Incite Inc., albeit for a short period of time. All of the screens inside the main headquarters change from the Delos logo to the Incite logo. Following Serac's downfall — and Incite as a whole — however, Delos is again made a separate entity. In the future, William arrives at the Dubai branch of Delos, and confronts the receptionist, citing that she doesn't know what Delos really does. In the basement, it is revealed that Hale is still in charge of Delos, and has been creating numerous thousands more Hosts.
Delos Destinations, Inc.
Delos Destinations, Inc. is the Delos subsidiary that owns and oversees Westworld, including the hosts and the park. It is unclear whether the host IP is held by Delos Destinations, Delos Inc., or a third Delos entity. The corporation runs its theme parks from highly advanced control rooms and maintenance facilities, making sure everything is in accordance with a guest's needs. Their theme parks are populated with Synthetic (formerly Robotic) characters called hosts, all of which are programmed and bound to follow their set narratives in their current personalities, completely unaware that the world around them — including their own life — is an elaborate fiction created by Delos Destinations.
Thirty years prior to the events of the first season, the park was largely failing and losing revenue every year. It was feared by many that the increase in costs, and without the generated money to settle these costs, that the corporation would soon file for bankruptcy and be closed, including all of its attractions. Westworld was saved by William, after spending time in Westworld, and after becoming emotionally involved with a female host (Dolores Abernathy). William successfully convinces the head of Delos Inc, James Delos, to invest in and take ownership of the park. In exchange, William was put on the Board of Directors and made one of the managing directors of the park, thus saving Westword from financial catastrophe.
Delos Destinations Inc. oversees six known parks; four of the six are in use, with active hosts, whilst the other two parks are designated for further development.
- Park 1: Westworld — version of the "Old West" narrative
- Park 2: Shōgunworld — version of "Feudal Japan" narrative
- Park 3: Warworld — version of "World War II" narrative
- Park 4: Fantasyworld — "Medieval Fantasy" with everything fantasy narrative
- Park 5: Defense Contracts — reserved for military training purposes 
- Park 6: The Raj — version of "Colonial India"
The territory upon which Westworld is situated is a self-contained terraformed island which appears to be in the South China Sea. The presence of Chinese naval officers (identified by the insignia on their caps and spoken language) implies the island was ostensibly purchased from China, and we learn that Delos was granted full authority over the island — at least temporarily — following the host uprising.
It has become clear that whilst the parks are self-contained entities, it is possible that objects — whether this be animals, hosts or guests — are somehow able to cross the border between parks; this is possibly a security breach, however, and Ashley Stubbs remarks, "We've got Bengals in Park 6, but we've never had a stray cross park borders." It is possible that the borders of the park are cordoned off by laser detectors which, when tripped, will trigger an audible warning.
Attractions operated by Delos Destinations, Inc.
Westworld is Delos Destinations' primary vacation site and its largest generator of revenue. For $40,000 a day, people can come and free themselves of any obligations or moral choices. Every year, the rich and elite will flock to a large fictional playground built to resemble the Old West in the late 19th Century, and populated with synthetic characters called "hosts" as well as synthetic animals of the Old West. These hosts are made to look like humans that would have appeared during that period of time.
All Hosts are programmed to be unable to harm humans and to follow a set narrative that plays out during the day but can be altered at any time by a human guest. Unless a guest's interaction has diverted their narrative, Hosts will reset every day with no memory of the previous day's events and will carry on the same story over and over in a non-stop loop.
To this end, Guests can choose exactly what they want to do in this world, as there are no real consequences. Guests can choose to either go White Hat (which symbolizes that they want to play the "good guy" and engage in the adventures that Westworld has to offer) or Black Hat (which symbolizes the Guest would like to play a "bad guy" and let themselves indulge in the many vices and evils of humanity, such as murder, rape, alcoholism, and robbery). The only rule is that you cannot harm another human, as a Host's programming prevents you from doing any real harm to a person.
The existence of a second park was revealed in "The Bicameral Mind", where hosts appear to be dressed as Japanese samurai warriors. Only the initials "SW" are seen on the wall of the Mesa Hub in that scene, and until season two the prevailing name of this park was speculated to be Samurai World. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have since disclosed that the official name of this park is "Shōgunworld."
Shōgunworld is an immersive environment similar to Westworld. According to delosdestinations.com, Shōgunworld is modeled after Japan's Edo Period (1603-1868), and promises "a landscape of highest beauty and darkest horror." Shōgunworld's main village — despite being Japanese in design and mise-en-scène — shares many physical similarities to Sweetwater, down to the street layout and building placements. A geisha tea house acts as the village's version of Sweetwater's Mariposa Saloon.
While the Shōgunworld hosts speak in the native Japanese appropriate to the Edo Period, they too have been designed with narratives that closely parallel their Westworld counterparts — so close, in fact, that Lee Sizemore refers to them as "doppelbots" (doppelganger robots). Sizemore blames this on the schedule pressure of having to develop the narratives for the hosts within a three-week deadline.
The park has apparently been active concurrently with Westworld, but nobody mentions its existence until it is discovered by Maeve. It is one of Delos intentions to provide parks that appeal to international crowds.
The Shōgunworld experience is targeted toward guests for whom Westworld's gunfights, saloon brawls, and Cowboys-and-Indians motifs are too tame. Shōgunworld offers a much darker, more violent experience than Westworld, catering to the "true connoisseur of gore" who wishes to "indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana," according to the park's description.
Warworld is Delos' third park and is modeled after Nazi-occupied Italy. The park features heavy military presence with multiple tanks and artillery roaming the streets.
After "Virtù e Fortuna, Delos Destinations' website was updated to reveal Park 6 as "The Raj", the first of the known parks to forego the "-world" suffix in its name. The third episode had some establishing scenes shot in the park, which involved an Imperial-Britain-in-India narrative, taking place in an unspecified time period.
From the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, the "company raj" describes a time period in which Imperial Britain's commerce and trade reach — in the form of the British East India Company — was both a dominant global commercial force as well as the de-facto governing power in India, supporting (like Delos, nearly two centuries later) its own private maritime military force, which was larger than England's own national navy. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, the "British raj" describes the period in which the British government reasserted its self-appointed sovereign authority as the governing power in India. Either of these periods could be represented by The Raj.
The slide for The Raj on the website has a caption in Hindi which translates roughly to, "Come and experience, the grandeur and love of a place lost in time." The English description goes on to say, "If being pampered by our world-class spa isn’t your cup of Darjeeling Tea, the park's jungles and mountains are your only chance to glimpse magnificent beasts long vanished from your world."
The landing page for the park itself currently consists only of a glitchy park logo overlaid on a single background image of a contemporaneous location — the image contains electric lights and what appear to be aerial antennas affixed to some of the taller structures. This choice of background is similar to the early Shogunworld scenery which appeared to show a view of traditional old-Japan rooftop architecture against a contemporary backdrop.
Other corporate activity
Aside from operating the theme parks, Delos, Inc. is powerful enough to deploy its own maritime military or paramilitary force, as evidenced by the presence of an angular vessel resembling a stealth naval destroyer moored off of Westworld's coastline. This vessel displays the Delos logo on its side. Troops and equipment are shuttled onshore via smaller landing craft.
While the troops have the uniforms and disciplined movements of conventional military personnel, the non-regulation hairstyles some of them sport could indicate the use of some mercenary talent, or merely a corporate waiver of grooming regulations in the interests of fulfilling mission objectives expediently. In the field, the troops are apparently under the direction of Delos' civilian-clothed head of operations, Karl Strand.
Data mining activities
In "Journey Into Night", Bernard Lowe witnesses a drone host downloading data from a deactivated park host's cranial control unit, and Bernard realizes that the data stream contains not only a complete record of a guest's experiences with the host but also the guest's DNA.When he questions Charlotte Hale about the data intrusion, Hale dismissively replies, "We're not having that conversation, Bernard." This dialogue implies that Hale is aware of the violation of privacy the downloaded datastream represents.
The groundwork for the widespread data and identity theft of Westworld's guests appears to have been initially proposed by William, during the time Delos was considering acquiring a controlling interest in the park. During a walkthrough of Sweetwater, William attempts to persuade James Delos that the hosts represent a means to radically upend the traditional predictive analytics used by marketing, saying, "Half of your marketing budget goes to trying to figure out what people want."
William proposes that the park provides a means to strip away the guesswork. "Nobody's watching. Nobody's judging. At least that's what we tell them," William says to Delos, with a conspiratorial twitch of his eyebrows. "This is the only place in the world where you get to see people for who they really are."
Space47 is speculated to be an entity related to Delos, Inc.
Signage for Space47 appears in front of a building in "The Riddle of the Sphinx", in a flashback scene in which Arnold is escorting an early-model Dolores on a tour of Singaporein which he intends to bring his family. Arnold states he is doing so in order to have his family "at least within reach" of his work, where he spends much of his time.
Delos Robotics is a subsidiary of Delos Inc. It's main products are:
The Delos Model G-267 Construction Robot, aka George, is a Delos robotics product used for construction.
- Services provided: Site Survey, Construction & Demolition, Electrical & HVAC
|“||Dull, dirty, and dangerous no more. Delos' fully autonomous androids are capable of a wide range of tasks with only limited human supervision required. Day or night, rain or shine, they work tirelessly to ensure the buildings around us are constructed faster and safer than ever before.||”|
The Delos Riot Control Robot RC3110, aka The Mech, is a Delos robotics product used for riot control.
- Services provided: Crowd Control, Crime Deterrence, ORM Assistance
|“||[Beta Product] Delos is working closely with government and law enforcement agencies to find a safe and effective way to protect civilians and apprehend criminals. More details will be provided as this product is developed further.||”|
The Delos Husbandry Robot, is a Delos robotics product used for agriculture and animal husbandry.
- Services provided: Livestock Support & Animal Husbandry, Planting & Harvesting Support, Irrigation & Soil Preparation
|“||Delos' multifunctional quadrupedal smart-tractors are helping farmers around the world grow more with less. With a touch delicate enough to nurture a calf and strong enough to plow a field, Delos machines have boosted production and reduced carbon emissions tenfold in the past two decades.||”|
Role of Delos in Westworld (1973)
The role of Delos in the original 1973 film is largely left unexplored, although we are offered a quick glance at corporate decision-making. In the film, Delos operates three different parks as opposed to six: the eponymous Westworld, with the other two being Roman World and Medieval World.
One substantial difference between the Delos of the original movie and the HBO series is that the movie refers to Delos only as the parent resort for a system of three geographically-adjacent theme parks, but the actual corporate entity behind the resort is never explicitly named, so it is only assumed that Delos the resort is also Delos the company.
The resort in the movie was named after the Greek island of Delos, which served as an important cultural, mythological and trade hub for the ancient Greeks — whereas the provenance of the Delos name in HBO's Westworld was revealed prior to Season 2 as being the eponymous corporation of founder James Delos .
All that is known of the corporate entity Delos in the original movie is that it seems to be run exclusively by engineers, scientists and technicians. A central command-and-control facility operates and maintains all the park worlds and their robotic inhabitants, in a similar manner to its television counterpart.
The film begins with a commercial for Delos, which shows numerous guests being interviewed about their trips to the parks, and enthusiastically agreeing how it's worth $1,000 a day (about $5,500 in 2017 dollars). The commercial ends as the interviewer turns to the camera and proclaims, "Boy, do we have a vacation for you!"
Guests arrive at a central terminal at Delos via the resort's exclusive jet hovercraft. Upon arrival, guests are guided to the color-coded park world that they have chosen. Roman World allows a release of stress through relaxing days of doing nothing, and is built to cater to those who want to simply kick back and enjoy themselves in any method (including sexual). Medieval World and Westworld meanwhile are built to serve those who wish for a more thrilling experience, opting for gunfights and swordplay over lavish relaxation.
As the plot develops, a mysterious pattern of malfunctions begins to affect various robots throughout the park system. At first, the malfunctions are minor, such as robots losing their balance or exhibiting other mildly unstable behaviors. The malfunctions become more serious when a rattlesnake robot bites a guest in Westworld, and a sex robot refuses a guest's advances in Medieval World — actions contrary to the robots' programming.
We're given a peek into corporate governance at Delos in a scene where six men wearing white lab coats are seated around a conference table discussing the malfunctions. The men speak in the patois of scientists or engineers as opposed to corporate executives, but it's clear they have the authority to make decisions affecting operations for the entire resort. "The directors," as they are referred to in a later scene, have decided not to close the parks while they investigate the robot malfunctions, so as not to alarm the guests.
However, things at Delos take a sinister turn when the robots begin systematically slaughtering people. Everyone in Roman world is massacred, and a guest in Medieval World is murdered by a Robot dressed as a Black Knight. The control room staff manage to shut down most of the Robots, but are then trapped inside the facility themselves.
In Westworld, a lone Robot, The Gunslinger, goes on a brutal rampage, killing one guest and a Delos maintenance worker before relentlessly pursuing the sole surviving human. He makes it to the Roman World and into the Delos underground HQ, where he sees that the security system has locked everyone in the control room and that they have all suffocated in the air-tight environment. He eventually defeats the malfunctioning Gunslinger by luring him into a trap and setting him on fire, where he breaks down and deactivates. The guest sits down in exhaustion as the film ends and the slogan of Delos: "Boy, do we have a vacation for you..." echoes over the final shot.
Some fans have speculated that the final episode of the Westworld TV series is where the story connects with the 1973 film. The scenes, in the TV show, where the staff are locked inside the control center when the power fails are reminiscent of the similar situation in the 1973 film, where the staff all suffocate inside the air-tight control room. Also, near immediately after, in the TV show, the Hosts appear and begin slaughtering the guests, a scene which is also reminiscent of the third half of the 1973 movie when the Robots malfunction and start murdering people.
Role of Delos in Futureworld (1976)
The 1973 Westworld movie was followed in 1976 by a sequel, Futureworld, which departed from the original with a weak storyline and bargain-basement production values, and was poorly received by audiences. Michael Crichton, the creative mind behind the original Westworld story, was not involved in the sequel.
Whereas Westworld was produced by MGM, Futureworld was produced by American International Pictures, a studio known for its low-budget B-movies.
The events of Futureworld take place two years after the robot rebellion in Westworld.
In the sequel, Delos is given a corporate face for the first time in the polished and dapper spokesperson known only as “Duffy,” played by Arthur Hill. Duffy explains to a group of journalists that following the robot uprising, Delos has invested $1.5 billion (about $6.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to rebuild its facilities and replace “every circuit, every program and every robot” at the resort, but that attendance at Delos is lagging behind expectations. He offers journalists — played by Blythe Danner and Peter Fonda — exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the park in an effort to boost PR.
The configuration of parks in the new Delos has changed. Westworld, while it still exists, has too negative a connotation in the public’s mind to be reopened. Medievalworld and Romanworld from the original Delos are still open, and two new parks have been added: Spaworld (where a drug-assisted form of augmented reality allows guests to interact with hosts, unaffected by their real-world frailties and infirmities), and Futureworld (a simulated journey into space).
In the underground infrastructure of this new Delos we are first introduced to the samurai characters that are now being glimpsed in the HBO series. A "host generation chamber" forms a few samurai hosts that appear ready to run their swords through the journalists who have wandered upon it, until a park technician deactivates them in the nick of time.
The thin plot of Futureworld involves the journalists uncovering evidence of a corporate scheme by Delos to replace human influencers (political leaders, media stars, religious leaders) with host duplicates in order to gain control of human governments and society.
The design of the hosts has become much more advanced since Westworld closed, as they are now indistinguishable from the humans they are replacing. Duffy says that “even those of us who create them can’t tell you apart.” (Contrast this to the original Westworld, where the hosts suffered from a minor flaw in their hands that gave them away.)
Duffy himself is revealed to be a host, and he explains to the journalists (as a prelude to killing them) that the new generation of hosts believes that humans will destroy the planet before the end of the decade, owing to their violent and irrational nature.
Duffy pointedly observes, “We do not intend to be destroyed by your mistakes.” Hence, carefully-targeted humans will be replaced by hosts who are programmed to “think first of the welfare of Delos,” and, one is led to assume, the safe management of the planet.
This otherwise forgettable film is notable only for the fact that this stretch of exposition — not the robot uprising of Westworld — is where the notion of host autonomy and self-determination is first mentioned in the Westworld universe with any specificity.
The uprising in the original Westworld was not attributed to hosts gaining any higher-level consciousness or desire for self-determination; instead, their defiance and murderous rampage was ascribed to a malfunction — the very first mention of a computer “virus” — that caused them to behave contrary to their programming.
So despite its low-budget scripting and production values, Futureworld arguably provides a more direct conceptual bridge to the HBO series' notion of host self-determination (and the hosts' desire to have dominion over their environment) than does the virus-triggered rebellion in the original movie, and is noted here for that reason.
[Note: Dialog in this section was quoted from the novelization of the film Futureworld, published by Ballantine Books, 1976.]
Notable Staff (In Westworld)
Delos logos and insignia
Current version (TV series)
Older version (TV series)
Logos from the films
- Emails - some archived company emails from a security panel on the Delos Incorporated website .
- Westworld Mesa Hub - headquarters
- Discover Westworld - promotional website (for guests)
- Delos Incorporated - company website (for investors)
- Delos Destinations Corporate Intranet - company website (for employees)