Sword Art Online (Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン Sōdo Āto Onrain) (also known as SAO) is a franchise based on the 2009 Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near-future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. The light novels began publication on ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint from April 10, 2009, with a spin-off series launching in October 2012. The series has spawned eight manga adaptations published by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The novels and four of the manga adaptations have been licensed for release in North America by Yen Press. An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between July and December 2012, with an Extra Edition episode aired on December 31, 2013, and a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, aired between July and December 2014. Three video games based on the series have been released on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. An animated film featuring an original story by Kawahara has been announced. More: en.wikipedia.org.