Since its founding in 1994, Koch Media has made a name for itself as a software distributor. Even someone who’s never heard of the German-Austrian company is probably aware of its subsidiaries, which include Publisher Deep Silver and Saints Row developer Volition.
However, gamers won’t be hearing the name Koch Media anymore. The company’s rebranded itself under the name Plaion, revealing a new logo on Thursday. Managing Director Klemens Kundratitz discussed the rebranding in a recent interview, explaining the new name and reasons for the change.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Kundratitz explained how the rebranding began as simply modernizing Koch Media’s look. However, company leaders ultimately decided to take things further by committing to a complete rebrand. “Obviously,” said Kundratitz, “we want to avoid people seeing this as window dressing. 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.” He also expressed how Plaion wants to show that it’s a modern international company. The company additionally wanted to spread that message in a way that’s clear to both its employees and those outside the company.
According to Kundratitz, part of this process includes shaking the perception of Koch Media as a central European company rather than a global one. This is reflected in the new name. Koch, pronounced “Coke,” can be awkward for non-Germans. However, Plaion is pronounced “play on,” which is easier for non-German speakers and certainly fitting for a gaming and film company. Plaion also designed its new logo to resemble the triangular symbol for “play.” It additionally features a stylized “io” resembling a 1 and 0, symbolizing the company’s new digital focus.
Speaking of focus, Kundratitz emphasized that, despite the film and TV connotations of its logo, Plaion is still “first and foremost a games company.” He explained that, rather than transforming the company into something completely new, Plaion’s rebranding is merely continuing a process that began when THQ Nordic acquired Koch Media in 2018. The transition includes the above-mentioned shift from being a primarily physical distributor to one with a more multifaceted approach. He also emphasized Plaion’s ambitions to grow and diversify its role within the entertainment industry.
Kundratitz also mentioned that Plaion had timed its rebranding to come ahead of Gamescom 2022, which begins August 24 in Cologne, Germany. The company hopes that doing so will help to establish the Plaion brand in the consciousness of the international public.
He concluded the interview by acknowledging the similarities between Koch becoming Plaion and Facebook’s rebranding as Meta. However, the difference is that while Meta rebranded to emphasize its focus on the future of the Metaverse, Plaion’s new name acknowledges how far the company’s already come.