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Exclusive Columns

Columnists - The Free Zone

Richard Aihoshi has been writing about MMOGs since the mid-1990s, always with a global perspective. He has observed the emergence and growth of the free to play business model from its early days in both hemispheres. This column runs each Monday.

Global F2P Gleanings

General -  Column

One of the things we love to do around here is put our collective ear to the ground for all the news that might interest our readers and then give some thoughts about those stories. In our latest Free Zone column, we take a look at some of the most interesting tidbits we've picked up lately. Read on!Posted Aug 28, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

What Does SWTOR F2P Mean?

Star Wars: The Old Republic -  Column

Last week, Bioware and EA announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be adding a free to play component. In our latest Free Zone column, we take a look at the announcement and give our analysis of what it all means as well as check in with several F2P industry voices for their thoughts as well. Check it out!Posted Aug 14, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

More Mid-Year Musing

General -  Column

In the last edition of The Free Zone, we took a look at the first half of the year and gave a few thoughts about what the rest of the year might bring. In today's edition, we offer a few more musings about the six months behind us. See what you think and then weigh in with your own thoughts.Posted Jul 31, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

The 2012 Summer Rumorfest

General -  Column

One of our favorite things to do is check out the rumor mill on a day to day basis. We've rounded up a few of the biggest ones people are talking about this summer in today's Free Zone. Check them out and then let us know what you think in the comments. Posted Jul 17, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Gazing into my Short-Term Crystal Ball

General -  Column

Now that mid-2012 has arrived, we've got a few prognostications to share with our readers about what we think the future, the short-term future anyway, holds for the F2P market. See what you think and then weigh in with your ideas in the comments.Posted Jul 3, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Recent News of Interest

General -  Column

In The Free Zone today, we take a look at the most compelling news of the last couple of weeks and give our take from the unique F2P perspective. See what caught our eye and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.Posted Jun 19, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

F2P at E3 2012

General -  Column

E3 is one of the premier events during the summer season for game developers and their fans. At this year's event, we fully expect to hear a lot more about the "free to play" movement in MMOs. In The Free Zone, we make a few predictions about what we may see. Check it out!Posted Jun 5, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Musing on NCsoft's Future

General -  Column

NCSoft has long been one of the top games publishers in Asia but seems to be struggling to keep its footing as such. In today's Free Zone, we take a look at NCSoft and what just may lie ahead for its future. Keep reading!Posted May 22, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Should Elder Scrolls Online Be F2P?

General -  Column

In today's Free Zone, we take a look at the recently announced Elder Scrolls Online and wonder if, just maybe, it should become a free-to-play title. See what we think and then add your thoughts in the comments.Posted May 8, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Is There a Place for Pay to Win?

General -  Column

Revenue generation in free to play games is a critical component of a game's overall success. But what is the best way to achieve that? Find out in The Free Zone and then weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.Posted Apr 24, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Winter is Coming… And It’s Web-based

General -  Column

In The Free Zone today we take a look at the web-based Game of Thrones game in development and at the larger issue of non-game IPs being brought to web browsers everywhere. We've also got a look at the continued growth of the Chinese game development industry. Keep reading!Posted Apr 10, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

One World of MMOs?

General -  Column

In The Free Zone today, we take a look at the worldwide popularity of MMOs and show off some surprising results with specific regard to the Korean market. We offer our commentary as a benefit so keep reading before adding your voice to the mix in our comments.Posted Mar 13, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

NCsoft's Intriguing Casual Purchase

General -  Column

In The Free Zone this week, we take a look at the recent purchase of casual games maker Ntreev Soft by powerhouse MMO publisher NCSoft. What are the implications for its current stable of games? Read on to find out!Posted Feb 28, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Is F2P Ruining Korea’s Youth?

General -  Column

The Korean government is increasingly active in it pursuit of limitations on youth gaming. Is this a good idea? What are the reasons behind the attention? Check out The Free Zone to find out and then let us know what you think.Posted Feb 14, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Two Trends to Watch Closely

General -  Column

While the controversial legislation embodied by both the SOPA and PIPA bills has largely been tabled for now, they are not dead by any stretch. In today's Free Zone, we take a look at two trends that all who are concerned with government intervention in the Internet need to keep an eye on. See what you think and then add your comments.Posted Jan 31, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Should SOPA Be Stopped?

General -  Column

SOPA or the "Stop Online Piracy Act" is working its way through the United States Congress with far-reaching implications around the world. In our latest Free Zone column, we take a look at whether or not SOPA -should- be stopped. Read on and then enter into the discussion in the comments.Posted Jan 17, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Closing the Gap on WoW

General -  Column

There is one game in China that is swiftly closing the "WoW Gap" and approaching the billion dollars in revenue mark. Which game that is might surprise you. Check out The Free Zone and then leave your thoughts in the comments.Posted Jan 3, 2012 by Richard Aihoshi

Nexon's IPO Signals Growth

General -  Column

In The Free Zone today, we take a look at the recent stock offering by Asian MMO powerhouse, Nexon. Leave us your thoughts in the comments when finished reading.Posted Dec 20, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

F2P and the 2011 MMOG Market

General -  Column

Recently, games research company NewZoo.com released a report that took a closer look at the free to play market and its impact on the overall MMO genre. In The Free Zone today, we give our take on the report and offer a few opinions as well. Check it out and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.Posted Dec 6, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

F2P News and Musings

General -  Column

In this latest edition of the The Free Zone, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi examines some of the recent news on the free-to-play side of the MMOG genre.Posted Nov 22, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi