Game

Saints Row publisher Koch Media now calls it Plaion after rebranding

Koch Media, Saints Row publishers with names few people can pronounce correctly or consistently, are rebranding. The current German-Austrian company is Plaion.

For the record, “Plaion” is pronounced “play-on,” which makes sense for its main product (it has a small movie business). “Koch” has been called/recited/pronounced differently as “Coke,” (as right-wing political donor brothers and sisters); “Kotch” (as in Ed, mayor of New York from 1978-1989); “Cooking” (as Jim Koch, Brewery co-founder Samuel Adams); and, less politely, “The Rooster”.

Koch Media, which was acquired by Embracer Group in 2018, is named for co-founder Franz Koch, pronounced “cough”, a Plaion executive told VentureBeat in an interview Thursday morning. Co-founder Klemens Kundratitz told GamesIndustry.biz that the name change is not a “dressing window. The signal we are sending is that we are on a journey and it is good to give this journey a new name, a new visual appearance.”

Kundratitz told VentureBeat that the decision was made by Plaion leadership internally and was not authorized from above by Embracer. But, “if they said they hated the name, we might have reconsidered it,” added Kundratitz.

The name change comes with a new logo, which Kundratitz says is intended to evoke the “play” symbol on the buttons of most electronic devices.

Plaion, as Koch Media, is best known for its Deep Silver publishing division. Deep Silver published GSC Game World’s EXPERTS: Clear sky and STALKER: Call of Pripyat in 2007 and 2010 before delivering their first breakthrough success, Dead Islandfor consoles and PCs in 2011.

Koch Media then select Metro and Saints Row intellectual propertyas well as Saints Row studio Volition, when the assets of the former THQ were liquidated in 2013. The name THQ itself was acquired by Nordic Games Licensing, renamed itself THQ Nordic in 2016 and eventually Embracer Group (although it still maintains a publishing division called THQ Nordic.)

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

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