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Koch Media announced today that it is changing its name to Plaion, pronounced “play on.”
The German-Austrian media company started in 1994. It owns gaming studios like Saints Row publisher Deep Silver. It became a subsidiary of Embracer Group in 2018.
So, why the change?
“It’s been brewing since a while,” Plaion vice president of global sales and marketing Frank Weber told GamesBeat. “The more international, the more global we got as a company, the more clear it was from a pure phonetic point of view that our name wasn’t ideal internationally. We were changing drastically as a company. We grew rapidly. Today we’re producing our own content much more, which is something we hadn’t done initially. At the same time, we have a lot of partners and a lot of, let’s say, people who deliver content to us. We help them bring that to market, bring them to players. This is such a big change that we felt it’s now really time to change also the name and to become more what we are from a branding and naming perspective. It was brewing for a year, you could say.”
Of course, it was also a problem that many people never knew how to pronounce Koch. I’m still not sure myself. “Even us, honestly, sometimes in internal conversations or negotiations, we pronounce it ‘Kotch Media,’ even though it would be more like ‘Kaugh’ in German,” explained Weber. “Even we use Kotch’ as a name. So ‘Plaion’ is much easier going forward.”
Plaion made this decision independently. It was not something mandated by Embracer.
“We informed them, obviously, and if they had said they hated the name, we might have reconsidered it,” Plaion CEO Klemens Kundratitz told GamesBeat. “But apart from that, they just received it the way everybody else did.”
Plaion’s new logo, above, resembles the play button you see on many devices. Plaion says that the ribbon motif is to symbolize the “embracing and connecting” role of the company.
“Our appearance has been quite static, to be honest,” noted Weber. “For more than 20 years we’ve kept the same logo. I think it was really just time now to take account of our global nature, the nature of our modern company setup and our ambitions to further grow and further be a powerhouse in digital entertainment globally. The name speaks to that ambition much better. It’s a signal for the outside, but it’s also a signal to our staff. We’re on a journey together.”