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Koch Media have changed their name to Plaion

Trading one mispronunciation for another

If you're changing your company's name in part because it's hard to pronounce, you'd presumably want to change it to something with zero ambiguity. Seemingly not, if publisher Koch Media are any indication, as they announced today that they've changed their name to Plaion. At least the mispronunciations are now lower stakes.

The publisher released this video to introduce the new logo and name, which is pronounced "play on":

Cover image for YouTube videoWelcome to PLAION!

In an interview with our business cousins at GamesIndustry.biz, managing director Klemens Kundratitz said that the revamp began as a visual upgrade, but that they decided to "go all the way."

"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 energising people internally," said Kundratitz.

He did also acknowledge that the old name was "sometimes difficult for some people to pronounce." I always thought it was Koch-as-in-Kotsch, but in a video last year (h/t PC Gamer) Kundratitz explained how to say it in different regions... and what not to say:

Cover image for YouTube video

Koch Media were founded in 1994 but were bought by THQ Nordic, now known as Embracer Group, in 2018. Plaion's subsidiaries include publishers Deep Silver and Prime Matter, and developers like Flying Wild Hog, Free Radical and Volition. They're apparently now three times the size they were when Embracer bought them.

Aside from the name change, Kundratitz told GI that the companies goals were still to produce and distribute games, although they do also want to be "diversifying into different forms of entertainment."

I love when a big corporate entity decides to re-brand. It's an entirely harmless endeavour always undertaken earnestly and with hubris, and the results regularly border on the abusrd. Play on, Plaion.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.