Koch Media, the Saints Row publisher with a name that few could correctly, or consistently, pronounce, is rebranding. The German-Austrian company is now Plaion.
Plaion is pronounced play-on, which makes sense considering the primary product (it has a small film business). Koch had been dubbed/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, has been named after co-founder Franz Koch, who is often confused with cough, according to a Plaion executive in an interview Thursday morning. The name change isnt window-dressing, but it's the signal we're sending is that we're on a journey, and that it's good to give this journey a new name and visual appearance.
Kundratitz told VentureBeat that Plaion's internal decision was made by Embracer and that it was not mandated from above. However, if they had stated that they disliked the name, we may have reconsidered it.
The name change comes with a new emblem, which Kundratitz claims was intended to evoke the play logo on most electronic devices.
The publishing division of Deep Silver, known as Plaion, was established in 2007 and 2010, before releasing the first major hit, Dead Island, on consoles and PC in 2011.
When the former THQs assets were sold in 2013, Koch Media purchased the Metro and Saints Row intellectual properties as well as Saints Row studio Volition. The THQ name was itself purchased by Nordic Games Licensing, which rebranded itself as THQ Nordic in 2016 and, ultimately, Embracer Group (though it maintains a publishing division called THQ Nordic).
Embracer acquired Koch Media in February 2018 and bought Saber Interactive in August 2020, Borderlands manufacturer Gearbox Entertainment in February 2021, and Dark Horse Comics at the end of 2021.