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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 2002 a 13-episode anime series was produced, as well as another 24-episode anime series in 2006.
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.
They have produced the BL games Sweet Pool, Lamento: Beyond the Void, Togainu no Chi and Dramatical Murder, each one of the last two have been given a manga and an anime adaptation.
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.
Very few BL games have been officially translated into English.
In 2006, JAST USA announced they would be releasing Enzai as Enzai: Falsely Accused, the first license of a BL game in English translation.
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.To Heart's music was so popular it was added to karaoke machines throughout Japan—a first for eroge.Competing systems included the Sharp X1, Fujitsu FM-7, MSX, and NEC PC-8801.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.