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The Idolmaster (THE iDOLM@STER, IMAS or IM@S) - The pop idol arcade game that took over the world

The Idolmaster (stylized as THE iDOLM@STER, and abbreviated as IMAS or IM@S) debuted in arcades across Japan as a raising simulation and rhythm video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment in 2005. The original arcade version of Idolmaster primarily centers around the career of a producer who works with a group of prospective idols at the talent agency 756 Production (or 756 Pro). A recurring theme in the series emphasizes the struggles an idol must go through to achieve stardom. The franchise has since grown into numerous sequels and spin-offs across multiple game consoles, including three social network games. The series has also produced a variety of other media such as anime DVDs, soundtrack CDs, manga and other print media, audio dramas, radio shows and a Korean drama. This vast range of works has culminated into the multimedia development project known as Project iM@S, with official releases in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English.


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After The Idolmaster's arcade success, a port of the game for the Xbox 360 was released in January 2007. With the Xbox 360 game release, six new songs were added to the arcade game's original ten. A faithful anime adaptation, produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Atsushi Nishigori, aired 25 episodes between July and December 2011 on TBS.

Also in 2011, Bandai teamed up with Cygames to release the free-to-play simulation video game The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls for iOS and Android smartphones. The story in Cinderella Girls follows the career of a producer in charge of training pop idols and leading them on their journey to fame. This subseries expanded in September 2015 with the creation of The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage, a spin-off collectible card and rhythm game app. Starlight Stage reached 4 million downloads in the Android version's first week of release in Japan. The game was the third top-grossing video game on the iOS App Store the day after its release and reached 10 million downloads in December 2015.

Other popular spin-off games include Idolmaster: Million Live! and Idolmaster: Side M, which are based in social media platforms. In addition, many Idolmaster live events have been held and capacity continues to increase every year to meet the growing popularity! In 2015, Idolmaster held their first stadium concert, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD, to commemorate the franchise's tenth anniverary. The event took place at Seibu Prince Dome in Tokorozawa, Japan, and had a groundbreaking attendance of about 100,000 fans.