Publisher Koch Media Changes Its Name Because People Didn’t Know How to Pronounce It – IGN
Publisher Koch Media is rebranding to Plaion because people couldn’t pronounce its old name.
During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz managing director Klemens Kundratitz unveiled the company’s new name, and explained why it’s stepping away from the old one.
“Our name for so many years was associated with physical distribution, perhaps with us being more of a central European company – although including the UK because that was among the first three countries where we launched,” he said. “But we’re perhaps not seen as a global company. And it’s sometimes difficult for some people to pronounce.”
Why the complete overhaul? Well, it started as a simple rebrand – modernizing the look of the company and its logo.
“But the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to go all the way,” he explained. “It’s more impactful, it’s got an external statement but it’s also an internal statement to our people. We’re opening this new chapter, they’re part of this, we’re a modern, growing, ambitious, global company, and it’s energizing people internally.”
It’s thought that the new name is easier for people to pronounce… although I have to admit, I first read it as “ply-on” until it was later explained to be pronounced “play-on”. Conversely, it was the “ch” on Koch Media that gave so many people trouble.
“Obviously, we want to avoid people seeing this as window dressing,” he added. “The signal we’re sending is that we’re on a journey and it’s good to give this journey a new name, new visual appearance. New is always exciting.”
Plaion, formerly Koch Media, is known for the likes of Dead Island, Metro, and Saints Row. Owned by the Embracer Group, it’s one of dozens of recent acquisitions by its parent company, recently entering into an agreement to purchase Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréa, and Square Enix Montréal.
“We have made such an enormous transformation since we joined the Embracer Group,” said Kundratitz. However, he was keen to emphasize that the company isn’t changing too much. “We’re not mutating into a different company, we’re just following a path that we’ve already been on since becoming part of Embracer Group.”
“We’re growing in all areas,” he added. “It’s certainly not a departure from physical distribution. Our mantra is we want to offer games wherever and however people want to play them: physical, digital, collector’s editions. Whatever way people want to consume our content, we’re there. We’re long-term committed in the physical space, but equally, we need to reinvent ourselves all the time.”
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.