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.
Usually the sexual content is presented as a reward for the player's successful fulfillment of certain tasks.
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).
Additionally, some games may receive an "all-ages" version, such as a port to consoles or handheld devices where pornography isn't allowed, which remove the sex scenes entirely.
Eroge gameplay is often in the style of a visual novel or dating sim.
A 2006 breakdown of the Japanese commercial BL market estimated it grosses approximately 12 billion yen annually, with video games generating 160 million yen per month.
In the early 1990s eroge games became much more common.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.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.