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Some eroge, such as those made by Illusion Soft, are just simulations of sex, with no "conventional" gameplay included.
Boys' Love (BL) games (also known as yaoi games) usually refers to eroge oriented around male homosexual couples for the female market.
In the early 1990s eroge games became much more common.
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.
In some of the early erotic games, the erotic content is meaningfully integrated into a thoughtful and mature storytelling, though others often used it as a flimsy excuse for pornography.
Erotic games made the PC-8801 popular, but customers quickly became tired of paying 8800 yen () for such simple games.
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.