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.
Both were first released on the PC with erotic scenes, which were subsequently removed in their console ports.
The bishojo gaming industry has resisted the transition into 3D graphics because of the blocky and distorted nature when viewed zoomed up close.
Today the industry has grown, with most publishers making releases for Windows, including download only files.
Some of the least pornographic and most successful also branching off into the console market.
Sega's popular bishōjo game series Sakura Wars also first saw publication in 1996 for the Sega Saturn; like Tokimeki Memorial, it contained no erotic elements.Thus free from controversy and fueled by continuing improvement in technology, in the 1990s the bishōjo game industry underwent a decade-long boom.The first major title of the 1990s was Tokimeki Memorial.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.Particularly notable in this respect are Leaf's To Heart (1997), and Key's Kanon (1999).Even though their gameplay involved little more than scrolling through text, they became hits largely due to the quality of their writing and characterization.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.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.