This genre is most established in Japan, and is mostly made up of visual novels and simulation games; particularly dating sims and life simulation games.In 2002, Konami released its very successful Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, which brought many new fans to the still-new genre.Mc Kenzie & Co (1995) from American Laser Games and Girl's Club (1992) from Philips Interactive were simulation games for girls developed and released in the US in the past.The first Japanese otome game to be officially translated and sold in English was the visual novel Yo-Jin-Bo in 2006 for the PC.
The love interests are often voiced by well-known voice actors.
Some games were originally released for the PC with pornographic content, and were later toned down and re-released for the PS2.
Other common elements in otome games are the importance of voice acting, CG stills, and a small epilogue or set scene at the end of the game when a character is successfully finished.
In 2006, Famitsu's listings for the Top 20 selling love games included seven otome games.
Early games borrowed heavily from the iconography and story conventions of "retro shoujo manga", "the archetypical girly heroines, the emphasis on pure, sexless, tranquil romance and on a peaceful, stable setting", but as the category expanded, other narrative and gameplay elements were introduced, including action/adventure, combat and plots in which "the heroine can ‘save the world’ and ‘get the guy’ at the same time".