Koch Media, the Saints Row publisher that few could pronounce correctly, or consistently, is rebranding. The German-Austrian company is now Plaion.
Plaion is pronounced play-on, which makes sense considering the company's primary product (it is a small film company). 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, was named after co-founder Franz Koch, who is also called cough, according to a Plaion executive in a conversation Thursday morning. The name change isnt window-dressing, but it's the signal we're sending is that we're on a journey, and it's good to give this journey a fresh name and a fresh visual appearance.
Kundratitz told VentureBeat that the Plaion leadership made the decision internally, and that Embracer did not make it up from the top. However, Kundratitz added that they might have reconsidered the name if they had said they disliked the name.
The name change comes with a new emblem, which Kundratitz claims was intended to mimic the play symbol on most electronic devices.
Plaion, known as Koch Media, is best 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 releasing its first big hit, Dead Island, for consoles and PC in 2011.
When the former THQs assets were liquidated in 2013, Koch Media purchased the Metro and Saints Row intellectual properties, as well as Saints Row studio Volition, which later became 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 producer Gearbox Entertainment in February 2021, and Dark Horse Comics at the end of 2021.