The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.
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.
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.
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.