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.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 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.There is no set definition for the gameplay of eroge, except that they all include explicit sexual content.This most often occurs as hentai scenes of the player character having a sexual encounter with other characters.
Like other pornographic media in Japan, erotic scenes feature censorship of genitalia, only becoming uncensored if the game is licensed and released outside Japan, unless produced illegally by doujin (usually with a construction kit like NScripter or RPG Maker).
In 2002 a 13-episode anime series was produced, as well as another 24-episode anime series in 2006.
According to Satoshi Todome's A History of Eroge, Kanon is still the standard for modern eroge and is referred to as a "baptism" for young otaku in Japan.
As with yaoi manga, the major market is assumed to be female.
Games aimed at a homosexual male audience may be referred to as bara.