Koch Media, the creator of Saints Row, has a new name that it hopes you may recognize

Koch Media, the creator of Saints Row, has a new name that it hopes you may recognize ...

Koch Media, the Saints Row publisher who few could correctly, or consistently, pronounce, is being rebranded. The German-Austrian company is now Plaion.

Plaion is pronounced play-on, which makes sense given its primary product (it has a small film business). Koch had been named/mentally read/pronounced variously as Coke (like the right-wing political donor siblings); Kotch (as in Ed, mayor of New York from 1978-1989); Cook (like Jim Koch, co-founder of the Samuel Adams beer brewery), and, less politely, Cock.

Koch Media, which was acquired by Embracer Group in 2018, is named after co-founder Franz Koch, who is pronounced cough in a Plaion executive in an interview Thursday morning. The name change isnt window-dressing, as the company is on a journey, and it's good to give this journey a fresh name and a new visual appearance.

Kundratitz said to VentureBeat that the decision was made internally by Plaion leadership and that Embracer did not mandate it from above. However, if they had said they disliked the name, we might have reconsidered it, according to Kundratitz.

The name change comes with a new design, which Kundratitz believes was intended to evoke the play symbol on most electronic devices.

Plaion, also known as Koch Media, is well-known for its Deep Silver publishing division. In 2007 and 2010, Deep Silver released GSC Game Worlds STALKER: Clear Sky and STALKER: Call of Pripyat, before bringing its first mainstream release, Dead Island, to consoles and PC in 2011.

When the former THQs assets were liquidated in 2013, Koch Media acquired the Metro and Saints Row intellectual property, as well as Saints Row studio Volition, which later became THQ Nordic. In 2016, Embracer Group rebranded itself as THQ Nordic (though it maintains a publishing division called THQ Nordic.)

Embracer acquired Koch Media in February 2018, and purchased Saber Interactive in August 2020, Borderlands manufacturer Gearbox Entertainment in February 2021, and Dark Horse Comics at the end of 2021.