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.
In 2006, JAST USA announced they would be releasing Enzai as Enzai: Falsely Accused, the first license of a BL game in English translation.
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Games also started to appear on Windows as it grew in popularity. In it, before any eroticism, the user has to first win the affection of one of a number of female characters, making the story into an interactive romance novel. Soon afterwards, the video game Otogirisou on the Super Famicom attracted the attention of many Japanese gamers.
Otogirisou was a standard adventure game but had multiple endings. In 1996, the new software publisher Leaf expanded on this idea, calling it a visual novel and releasing their first successful game, Shizuku, a horror story starring a rapist high school student, with very highly reviewed writing and music. However, in 1997, they released To Heart, a sweetly sentimental story of high school love that became one of the most famous and trendsetting eroge ever.
Soon, new genres were invented: ASCII's Chaos Angels, a role-playing-based eroge, inspired Dragon Knight by Elf and Rance by Alice Soft.
In the early 1990s eroge games became much more common.
There is no set definition for the gameplay of eroge, except that they all include explicit sexual content.