Dating adult games
These came to national attention in Japan in 1986 with the release by d B-soft of 177, a game where the player takes the role of a rapist.
(The game's title originates from the number of the Japanese law criminalizing rape.) 177 was not actually the first game designed around this premise, but it was unusually explicit.
However, it was unique in that it contained not only adventure-game elements but also a combat system borrowed from tactical combat games such as Tactics Ogre.
Since the late nineties, there has been a trend towards better storytelling in mainstream bishōjo games.
The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.
A notable landmark was Jast's Tenshitachi no gogo (1985), a precursor to the modern dating simulation.
Released in 1994 by Konami who was on the verge of bankruptcy, the platonic dating sim becoming the first major Bishojo game since Koei's release of Night Life. While the title was another eroge title targeted at males for its sexual content, the players began to identify with the protagonist and the idea overcoming "the emotional trials and tribulations of pure love." A late Play Station 2 port removed the sexual content and sold better than the original leading eventually to two anime adaptations. Dōkyūsei, whose gameplay focused on meeting girls and seducing them, established the standard conventions of the dating simulation genre.
Tokimeki Memorial, the first dating sim, featured good graphics, full voice acting, and a role-playing game-like gameplay system.
Even though their gameplay involved little more than scrolling through text, they became hits largely due to the quality of their writing and characterization.
Throughout the nineties, bishōjo games underwent an evolution from being one of the most technologically demanding types of games (because their detailed 2D graphics required a large amount of storage space by the standards of early computers) to one of the least (they rarely use 3D graphics).
Thus, more than regular games, the main employees required by bishōjo game companies today are not programmers but artists and writers.
In the early nineties the atmosphere in Japan became more and more hostile towards bishōjo games.
In 1989 serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki was arrested and was revealed to be a consumer of lolicon manga, causing widespread opposition to pornographic manga, otaku and anything similar.