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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.

Will Cryptic Prove a Bargain?

General -  Column

In today's Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the recent purchase of Cryptic Studios by Perfect World Entertainment. Surprised by the relatively 'bargain' cost for Cryptic Studios (~$35 million USD), Richard wonders how this new partnership will go. In addition, Richard has a few other tidbits he's gleaned from around the 'Net. Check out The Free Zone.Posted Jun 13, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Conan’s Hybridian Adventure, Wizardry Going MMO?

General -  Column

This week in Free Zone, MMORPG.com's own Richard Aihoshi takes a look at two announcements that have come our way recently; The shift of Age of Conan to a hybrid, F2P model, and the announcement of Wizardry Online. Check it out and let us know what you think!Posted May 30, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Cryptic's Future Unclear

General -  Column

In today's Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the big news out of last week, namely the placement of Cryptic Studios on the auction block by publishing giant, Atari. Richard has a few thoughts to share on the future of Cryptic Studios. Check it out!Posted May 23, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Revisiting the F2P Review System

General -  Column

Dovetailing with Jon Wood's article about "reviewing the review process", MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi takes a look at a particular niche: Reviewing F2P games. Check out Richard's thoughts about the F2P review process before leaving us a comment or two.Posted May 16, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Venerable IP Ultima-tely to Fly Again?

Ultima Online -  Column

In The Free Zone today, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi floats a rumor that breezed across his desk recently, namely that there is a possibility that a new Ultima MMORPG is being considered. Doubtless, that got your attention so keep reading and then let us know what you think.Posted May 9, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

A Marvel-lous Announcement?

General -  Column

Last week, the name of the writer for Gazillion Entertainment's Marvel Universe Online was revealed during a live event. But much of that news has been buried under discussions of the financial model that Gazillion will employ. In The Free Zone today, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the announcement and the ensuing discussion. Check it out and then weigh in with a few thoughts of your own. Posted May 2, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Questionable Government Intervention

General -  Column

The Free Zone today deals with the Korean government and its legislation aimed at curbing the number of hours young people can spend playing video games. MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi gives our readers a synopsis of the legislation and offers a few thoughts about the issue. Check it out and then let us know what you think.Posted Apr 25, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

The Return of Miscellany

General -  Column

MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi has been out scouring the Internet for all the most compelling information about the free-to-play MMOG market. This week, Richard has several interesting tidbits of news to share to keep reading. Be sure to leave a comment or two when finished!Posted Apr 18, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

More on the Gaming Economy

General -  Column

Last week in The Free Zone, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi took a look at the economics of gold farming. Hot on the heels of Richard's article came a report from the World Bank Group's infoDev program that takes an even deeper look at the issue. Read on for Richard's thoughts on the report and then add some of your own in the comments.Posted Apr 11, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

The Economics Of Gold-Farming

General -  Column

There is always a lot of talk about gold farming in the MMOs we love, mostly in the negative. In the Free Zone today, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi takes a look at, as the title says, "The Current Economics Of Gold-Farming". See what Richard discovered after reading an interesting 'scholarly' report on the death of a gold farming company. Be sure to add your thoughts in the comments.Posted Apr 4, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Jagex Developing Transformers Online

General -  Column

In The Free Zone today, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the recently announced Transformers Online being developed by Jagex. Richard has a few questions about the title and some other thoughts to share. Check it out and then let us know what you think!Posted Mar 28, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Atop the Publisher Heap

General -  Column

Global games publishing giant, Tencent, recently purchased Riot Games for something in the vicinity of $400 million USD. This move has potentially put Tencent solidly in first place as the world's largest online games publisher. MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi takes a look at Riot's acquisition and the potential for more as time goes on in today's The Free Zone. Check it out and leave a comment or two when you're finished. Posted Mar 21, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

A Cryptic Question And More

General -  Column

MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi has once again scoured the Internet to find the most intriguing news stories with which to opine. In The Free Zone this week, Richard takes a look at the changing of the guard at Cryptic Studios and the new business model for LEGO Universe Online. Head through the jump to read The Free Zone and then leave a comment or two.Posted Mar 14, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

More MMOG Miscellany

General -  Column

MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi has diligently scoured the Internet for the best in the news you may have missed when it comes to 'freemium' MMOGs. He's got another collection of terrific tidbits in The Free Zone today. Check them out and then leave a comment or two below.Posted Mar 7, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

FTC Investigating F2P?

General -  Column

In The Free Zone this week, Richard Aihoshi takes a look at a recent announcement that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was taking a look at iTunes free to play games. At issue is the in-app purchases made by children, one to the tune of $1,400.00 by an eight year old. Check out what Richard has to say about the investigation and any implications he sees for the MMO market. Be sure toadd your thoughts.Posted Feb 28, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Champions FFA & Age of Conan Rumors

General -  Column

In The Free Zone this week, MMORPG.com columnist, Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the strong numbers that Champions Online has garnered since the Free for All version went live. In addition, Richard has picked up some tendrils of rumor surrounding Age of Conan and a F2P iteration. Read on!Posted Feb 21, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

MapleStory Hacked in Europe

MapleStory -  Column

For non-MapleStory players who may not know, the game's European servers were hacked recently, something that Nexon has been working to solve since it happened. In The Free Zone this week, Richard Aihoshi discusses the time line of the hacking and Nexon's response. Check it out and then leave a comment or two below.Posted Feb 15, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

More MMOG Melange

General -  Column

Intrepid columnist Richard Aihoshi once again has scoured the internet for relevant news about all things MMOG. His latest Free Zone column gives readers a few tidbits of information about EA financials, Riot Games being bought out, FEZ shutting down and more. Check it out and then leave a comment or two below.Posted Feb 7, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Two F2P Shortcomings

General -  Column

In the Free Zone this week, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi springboards off of Garrett Fuller's recent article about Why MMOs Fail. Richard centers his discussion on the free to play aspect of the MMO universe and outlines two specific shortcomings endemic to the genre. Check out Richard's thoughts and then add your own to the mix in the comments below.Posted Jan 31, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi

Recent Items of Interest

General -  Column

In the Free Zone this week, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi continues to glean the most interesting tidbits coming out in the F2P MMOG universe. Included this week are items such as the Wakfu North American beta, the recent hacking of Frogster's player database and more. Check out what Richard has dug up for you today. Leave us a comment or two below when you're through.Posted Jan 24, 2011 by Richard Aihoshi