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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.

Clone Wars Enters MMOG Wars

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures -  Column

In his latest Free Zone column,'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, 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, 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,'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's Beau Hindman to talk about the ten most common misconceptions that many players have about the free-to-play MMO genre. Today, 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, 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

The Rising Influence of Casual and Social

General -  Column

In this week's column, Richard Aioshi takes a look at casual, advanced casual, social MMOs as separate varieties of games. But is that categorization right? Do we keep separating, categorizing, adding sub-classes of games or do we do something else? Find out what Richard thinks in his column this week, The Rising Influence of Casual and Social.Posted Jul 12, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Three Reasons Free To Play Isn't Dying Either

General -  Column

To complement last week's column, Richard Aihoshi turns his attention to the current status of the F2P revenue model, which seems to be in good shape.Posted Jul 5, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Three Reasons Subscription Isn't Dying

General -  Column

In this week's column, Richard Aihoshi looks at the state of the other major MMOG business model, then provides an unusual tale from the development side.Posted Jun 28, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Post-E3 Thoughts

General -  Column's Richard Aihoshi talks about the art of covering E3 and the show that he would most like to attend given the opportunity.Posted Jun 21, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

It Is What It Is

General -  Column

Free to play columnist Richard Aihoshi wonders at some people's unwillingness to accept LOTRO's announced change of business models Posted Jun 16, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

I've A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Any More

General -  Column

A long-time observer of the F2P sector, columnist Richard Aihoshi comments on the news that LOTRO will change its business model. Posted Jun 7, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Picking the Mind of Adam Bohn

General -  Column

In this edition of Richard Aihoshi's Free Zone, the columnist talks to Atrix Entertainment CEO Adam Bohn about the web based MMO model and how it fits into the current scheme of things.Posted Jun 1, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Is the Global MMOG Market a Myth?

General -  Column's Free Zone columnist Richard Aihoshi clears the air on the supposed global MMOG market in this week's column.Posted May 24, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Global News Galore

General -  Column's Ricahrd Aihoshi goes beyond the local Western Market to bring us up to speed with some of the news happening globally in the MMO realm.Posted May 17, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

Nexon Making More Major Moves

General -  Column Free Zone columnist Richard Aihoshi focuses this week's column on one of the biggest players in the F2P market, Nexon and its recent acquisition of NDoors.Posted May 10, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi

I Get Questions

General -  Column's Free Zone columnist Richard Aihoshi writes his column this week in answer to a number of questions that he gets on a regular basis, covering everything from the basis of his columns to providing a new trivia question.Posted May 3, 2010 by Richard Aihoshi