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Koch Media Officially Rebrands as Plaion

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Koch Media has officially rebranded under their new moniker; Plaion.

Managing managing director Klemens Kundratitz spoke at length about the changes, while emphasizing that the games publisher will remain “first and foremost a games company” while adding that the rebrand will “acknowledge who we truly are”.

“But the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to go all the way,” Kundratitz said, during an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz. “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.

“Obviously, 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. New is always exciting.”

“We have made such an enormous transformation since we joined the Embracer Group,” he continued. “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. But we’re perhaps not seen as a global company. And it’s sometimes difficult for some people to pronounce.”

“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. 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.”

“We’re a very transformed company and we have an ambition on a global scale to continue to grow, both on the content creation side and the sales side, as well as diversifying into different forms of entertainment. We’re ready to give ourselves a new look, a new style, and open a new chapter.”

The re-branding also applies to Koch Film, which will now be known as Plaion Pictures, which is a fresh approach for the world of film content creators, such as horror content creators and others within the film industry.

“Koch has always been a B2B brand and it will continue to be,” Kundratitz said. “All our consumer-facing publishing labels – Deep Silver, Prime Matter, Ravenscourt, Milestone and Vertigo Games – will stay the same. I think it’s easier to transition from Koch to Plaion in a B2B environment.”

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Microsoft Accuses Sony of Paying Game Devs to Stay Off Game Pass

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Microsoft claims that Sony has been paying video game developers to keep their games off the Xbox Game Pass subscription service offering, according to VGC.

As part of a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) to justify its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company claimed that Sony actively attempts to “inhibit growth” of Game Pass by trying to prevent content from landing on Game Pass.

“Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth,” the company said in the documents. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”

Additionally, Microsoft called Sony’s concern regarding the potential that Call of Duty could become an exclusive Xbox title “incoherent”, pointing to Sony’s own exclusivity strategies related to Playstation.

“It only reveals, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that offers high-quality content at low costs to gamers, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years,” Microsoft said.

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BBC Proms Features Video Game Music

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The annual BBC Proms event celebrated another milestone, and took the headlines, by adding video game scores to their library of culturally significant music, in a first for the event that debuted all the way back in 1895.

This year marked the very first time that video game soundtracks have been included in the lineup, and there was even a special concert ‘From 8-Bit To Infinity’ that took place last week, showing just how far video game music has come.

“It is a really welcome move to hear video games music brought to life in one of the most prestigious classical festivals in the world, highlighting the multi-faceted, extraordinary output of this powerhouse industry and its exceptional talents,” BAFTA’s head of games Luke Hebblethwaite said, during an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

“It’s brilliant to see games composers joining the BBC Proms line-up for the first time, cementing their deserved place alongside those working in film, classical music and wider established art forms.”

“It was only a matter of time before the BBC recognised the cultural significance of not only the gaming industry, but some of the incredible music that is an integral part of the gaming experience,” Richard Jacques, composer of last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy game said. “As an industry we have proven that we are no longer the poor relation of Hollywood, or are inexperienced in the classical genre. Indeed, an event such as this is often the first time a fan of the genre has actually seen a live orchestral performance, which often leads the way for them to discover other symphonic works, from Stravinsky to Scriabin to Schubert and beyond. Video game soundtracks can be enjoyed equally by gamers and non-gamers alike, since music is for everyone, music is universal. The BBC Prom clearly has demonstrated this and long may it continue.”

David Wise, composer of Donkey Kong Country and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair also chimed in on the development.

“The cultural significance of video game music scores is a phenomenon on a global scale. Gamers have listened to these themes since their childhood, and nothing evokes nostalgia more than listening to a full orchestra and choir playing your favourite score which formed the backdrop to so many childhoods.

“Pokémon, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Chronos from so many more great video games, with the soundtrack from Journey, composed by the incredible Austin Wintory, being the highlight of this year’s event for me.

“With so many internationally acclaimed video game composers emanating from the UK, I look forward to this event highlighting the incredible talent we have closer to home for future shows. History in the making for the Proms, with a tiny slice of video game music history to set the stage for so many more epic video game future proms.”

You can read the entire article over at GamesIndustry.biz.

 

 

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X1Esports Acquires Tyrus LLC

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X1 Esports and Entertainment Ltd., which is a video games and creator economy portfolio company,  has officially announced the acquisition of influencer management firm Tyrus LLC (aka Tyrus).

“The Tyrus Transaction offers tremendous opportunity for X1 to partake in the growing global creator economy which is an industry of over 50 million individual content creators1 where Tyrus is extremely well-positioned,” said Mark Elfenbein, CEO of X1, in an official statement. “The video game category has been a top category of the creator economy and has largely benefited the growth of the video game industry recently.”

Tyrus’ Manager, Amanda Solomon, will also join the X1 Advisory board as part of the move.

“Becoming part of the X1 family will allow Tyrus to extend its reach and engage with new and exciting talent in the gaming and esports community,” said Amanda Solomon, CEO of Tyrus. “The talent and diversity of our influencer roster is something we take great pride in. I look forward to growing our presence in this space and providing unique access for global brands to a highly influential GenZ audience”.

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