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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.

Mostly Unconfirmed Odds & Ends

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at some interesting, if unconfirmed, rumors swirling around the MMO universe. Richard has noticed items as far-ranging as Blizzard possibly looking into Asian opportunities to the issue of curfews for young Korean gamers. Check it out and then leave a comment or two below.Posted Dec 6, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Buzz from G-Star 2010

General -  Column

The Free Zone this week centers around last week's G-Star 2010 convention in South Korea. MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi has been digging through reports about the convention and has compiled some of the more intriguing information in his latest column. Check it out and let us know what grabbed your attention by leaving us a comment below.Posted Nov 29, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Interesting Market Research

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi examines the recent statistics revealed in a study of Western MMOG habits as conducted by research group Newzoo. Richard takes a look at the revealed data and interprets what it could possibly mean for MMOs in the future. Check it out, then leave us a comment below.Posted Nov 22, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Bring 'Em Back Live

APB: Reloaded -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com columnist, Richard Aihoshi, takes a look at the rumored resurrection of All Points Bulletin by K2 Networks. Richard wonders if APB will finally live up to its potential when it's re-released as a F2P title later this year. Check out Richard's thoughts and then add yours to the mix on the forums.Posted Nov 15, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Schwarzenegger vs. EMA II

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA (Entertainment Merchants Association) case now awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States. Richard offers his perspective about the case and what it means to gamers in California...and everywhere. Check it out and then exercise your Freedom of Speech on our forums.Posted Nov 8, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Champions Online, F2P & The Governator

Champions Online -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi takes a look at two larger than life news items that came across his virtual desk last week: CHampions Online going 'F2P' and The Governator taking on the EMA (Entertainment Merchants' Association). See what Richard thinks of Atari's announcement about Champions Online and whether or not the EMA can successfully challenge California Governor Schwarzenegger. Let us know your thoughts on the forums!Posted Nov 1, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

GDCO Thoughts

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi talks about this year's Austin Game Developer's Conference. While he did not have the opportunity to attend, Richard did pick up some tidbits of information and intriguing rumors about his favorite topic, free-to-play games. Check out Richard's thoughts and impressions of Austin and then let us know what you think!Posted Oct 25, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Not In My Back Yard

General -  Column

In the latest edition of Richard Aihoshi's Free Zone, Richard takes a look at China Joy and the imminent showing of Nival Network's Prime World. Some will remember that Nival was the development house behind the recently released Allods Online. Why do these two things pique Richard's imagination so much? Read Free Zone to find out.Posted Oct 18, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Portnoy's Current Complaint

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi discusses the quality of writing in MMOs. Comparing MMO lore and the NPCs to their literary counterparts, Richard wonders whether or not we'll ever see pre-eminent living game writers of the caliber of some of today's finest authors. See what Richard thinks and then add your thoughts on our forums.Posted Oct 11, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Reading Comprehension & F2P

General -  Column

Using MMMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood's recent column about reading comprehension and the soundbite generation, Richard Aihoshi takes it to the F2P space. Richard wants players to uses critical reading skills when it comes to the changing dynamics of online gaming and the free-to-play opportunities presenting themselves to players around the world. See if you agree and then let us know what you think on our forums!Posted Oct 4, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Tips for Aspiring MMOG Writers

General -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi has a few terrific tips for those of you who may want to try your hand at writing about the MMOG industry. While reviews, previews and interviews are the bread and butter for sites and publications about MMOs. Richard, however, has some thoughts about other ways to score writing about MMOGs. See what you think and then tell us your ideas.Posted Sep 27, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Clone Wars Enters MMOG Wars

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi talks about Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. The article focuses on the growing trend in the MMOG space to create free-to-play, family-friendly, virtual worlds. Though a free to play element exists, there is also the budget (and family) friendly element of a low monthly subscription rate. Does SWCWA sit on the cutting edge of the next trend in the F2P market? Read Richard's thoughts and then weigh in with your own.Posted Sep 20, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

More F2P for the West?

General -  Column

With the conversion of three of popular western titles (DDO, Everquest 2 and Lord of the Rings Online), Richard Aihoshi wonders in this week's Free Zone column whether or not more 'western' development companies will start to develop free to play games from the outset. See what Richard thinks and then add your thoughts on the forums!Posted Sep 13, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Questions About F2P Conversions

General -  Column

In this week's installment of Free Zone, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi considers the conversion of several subscription titles to free-to-play games. What does it mean when a 'premium' game goes F2P? Richard examines this question and others. Keep reading!Posted Aug 30, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

2010's Major MMOG-Oriented Game Shows

General -  Column

In this week's Free Zone, MMORPG.com writer, Richard Aihoshi takes a look at a few of the major games-related events happening around the world. Beginning with China-Joy, Richard also discusses Korea's GSTAR and GDC Online, formerly GDC Austin (TX). Read all of Richard's thoughts about these events and then add your thoughts.Posted Aug 23, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

An Intriguing Experiment: EverQuest II Extended

EverQuest II -  Column

In this week's Free Zone, Richard Aihoshi offers some provocative thoughts about Sony Online Entertainment's recent announcement about Everquest 2 Extended, the free-to-play version of the game set to go live as early as August 17th. Richard also asks questions and ponders the repercussions for other 'aging' titles.Posted Aug 16, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

What's Wrong with Freedom of Choice?

General -  Column

In the latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi discusses personal preference and MMOs. While he understands that people are not all fans of F2P games, he doesn't get why some are so vehemently (and vocally) opposed to their existence.Posted Aug 9, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

10 Misconceptions, Two Opinions, Part 1

General -  Column

In this week's Free Zone column, writer Richard Aihoshi partners up with Massively.com's Beau Hindman to talk about the ten most common misconceptions that many players have about the free-to-play MMO genre. Today, MMORPG.com features the first five misconceptions and the column will continue on Wednesday at Massively. Read today's installment and weigh in with your thoughts.Posted Aug 2, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

What's So Good About Hardcore?

General -  Column

In this week's Free Zone column, Richard Aihoshi wonders what hardcore actually is and what is it that makes hardcore better. He challenges readers to define hardcore and to give concrete reasons why it is a better gameplay experience than any other. Take Richard's challenge after reading his insightful column.Posted Jul 26, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Three Positive Influences From Casual And Social

General -  Column

In this week's Free Zone column, MMORPG.com writer Richard Aihoshi talks about the positives coming out of the causual and social gaming trends. It is his belief that there are more positives than negatives. See if you agree by reading Richard Aihoshi's Free Zone.Posted Jul 19, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi