The original Ridley Scott sci-fi classic Blade Runner is set in the far-off future of... *squints* uh, 2019. The upcoming David Villeneuve-directed Blade Runner 2049 is set in (duh) 2049. So what happened in those 30 years between Rick Deckard's hunt for rogue Replicants and whatever 2049 is about? Blade Runner 2036: Nexus Dawn, a new short film directed by Ridley Scott's son Luke Scott, answers at least part of that question.
There's quite a bit of information here, and not just the kind that's explicitly stated by the officials and Jared Leto's character Niander Wallace. We learn that some sort of food shortage crisis resulted in mass starvation, and Wallace holds patents to the technology which helped cease said crisis. We learn that Wallace is developing new Replicants, ones that are completely subservient to his will, and his motivation for doing so: he believes the planet is dying and humanity needs Replicant workers so they can better colonize outer space.
Personal note: it feels like Leto is channeling his best Andrew Ryan from BioShock here, replacing "Would you kindly" with "Do this now," don't you think?
While such a meeting could inarguably be described as "horrific," it would seem that Wallace's tactics worked. If you head over to the Blade Runner 2049 tie-in website Road to 2049 and scroll through the timeline, you'll see that Replicant prohibition was repealed in... you guessed it, 2036. This is only the first of three such projects, so I imagine we'll learn more about the characters at the heart of this futuristic drama soon.