To Heart's music was so popular it was added to karaoke machines throughout Japan—a first for eroge.
After a similar game by Tactics, One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e, became a hit in 1998, Visual Art's scouted main creative staff of One to form a new brand under them, which became Key. It contains only about seven brief erotic scenes in a sentimental story the size of a long novel (an all-ages version was also released afterward), but the enthusiasm of the response was unprecedented, and Kanon sold over 300,000 copies.
NEC was behind its competitors in terms of hardware (with only 16 colors and no sound support) and needed a way to regain control of the market. The first commercial erotic computer game, Night Life, was released by Koei in 1982.
Early eroge usually had simple stories, some even involving anal, which often led to widespread condemnation from the Japanese media.
have their origins in the early 1980s, when Japanese companies introduced their own brands of microcomputer to compete with those of the United States.
Competing systems included the Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7, MSX, and NEC PC-8801.
In 2002 a 13-episode anime series was produced, as well as another 24-episode anime series in 2006.
Although many eroge still market themselves primarily on sex, eroge that focus on story are now a major established part of Japanese otaku culture.
Oftentimes, voice actors who have voiced for eroge have been credited under a pseudonym.