Similarly, back in 1986, rape game “177” was withdrawn from the market under government pressure.
The Japan-based Ethics Organization of Computer Software, which administers ratings for videogames, scrambled on June 2 to preemptively ban “rape games.” This action is not legally binding, and used software and “amateur” (“doujin”) works are exempt. Minori blocked access to its website by anyone outside Japan.
Earlier in the year, a major controversy erupted around the game “Rapelay,” which was released by the Yokohama-based company Illusion in 2006.
The title (whose name is a contraction of the words “rape play”) is described by its creators as a “real-time 3D groper game.” Provocative scenes include gang rape in train station bathrooms, after which victims must be convinced to have abortions.
In essence, dating simulators are interactive visual romance novels.
Dating simulation market worth Y25 billion The 25 billion yen dating simulation market comprises some 200 makers who account for 400 brands.
Now, many fans come up to us at conventions with some knowledge of the various kinds of visual novels that are published in Japan.” J-List started in 1996 selling quirky products from Japan via the web, mainly music CDs, which cost around 3,000 yen new but which could be obtained cheaper through used music stores.
Payne decided to try his hand selling localized versions of PC dating-sim games—then dominated by DOS-based titles—and partnered with “eroge” maker Jast in 1998.
At the same time, the market is just starting to open up overseas through the efforts of a few small companies that are porting the games to English.Many young creators switched over to dating sims, which are cheaper to produce, have a dedicated audience, and are often free of corporate influence.“There are some big and really successful ‘eroge’ makers, but the majority of companies are small, independent groups of four or five people, and they sell maybe three to five thousand copies of a given title,” says Francesco Fondi, 37, who founded Play X in Italy in 1998, the first magazine outside of Japan dedicated to dating sims.Playing styles range from virtual conversations between the player and the characters in “galge” (girl games) to overt pornography in “eroge” (erotic games) and “yaruge” (sex games).
In “otome” games, the player is a woman going after hot guys, while in “boys love,” it’s just dudes getting rude.
Illusion acquiesced, erasing references to the game on its website, and Amazon and e Bay put a halt to sales.