NSFW text below!
Unlike most eroge fans, I’m not shy about my love for the medium. And clearly there are others too who are seeking more animated experiences — just look at what’s ranked #2 in the most searched genres on Pornhub.
Eroge used to be a wild landscape filled with confusing translations, viruses hidden in the downloadable games, and the easy to find amateur eroge left a lot to be desired. Times have advanced and with them, new opportunities have arisen from constant updates, mobile games, and official translations that help support the industry.
Gone are the days of low-quality translated visual novels — we are in the age of actual gameplay and translations that make sense!
We love older eroge like Fate/stay night (yes, the eroge helped launch the Fate/ series into anime superstardom) but the stilted translations make it hard to get into. Although the game has given us meme-fodder for years.
Many of the eroge that fans first encounter isn’t from Japan and are easily available on places like Newgrounds that focus on amateur-made games that use the visual novel format. The in-game conversations tend to be a joke for 75% of it.
These old eroge are about as weird as you can get and have a special place in the heart of any young person who struggled to find naughty games in the 90s and 00s. Many of these games came out of programs like Visual Novetly. The easy to use program had stock characters so you don’t even need an artist and could focus purely on the writing and story progression. At least that was the goal in theory. This meme sums up the best of those games in a single image.
After dabbling in these games, basic visual novel controls and meme-like humor on every single interaction can get a bit boring. But thanks to the Internet and new ways for creators to reach international audiences, we’re living in a golden age of eroge.
Historically, there haven’t been very easy ways for Japanese eroge developers to get their games out to market to anyone who isn’t able to visit the local R-18 section in Akihabara.
With new options on the Internet, multiple sites are picking up eroge games (even the SFW versions!) and giving eroge creators access to the international market. Making revenue off of their game is more important than ever for creators, especially since piracy is literally killing hentai.
While revenue may be tight for some, the interest in eroge is growing faster than ever and it can be seen through the eroge-dedicated website Nutaku.net that has grown to 90 million visits in total after launching just a few years ago. Nutaku is on the front lines of making it easier than ever to support your favorite creators and finding new ways to experience eroge like VR games or esports.
Easy global accessibility to the games and creator support has given rise to a higher-quality breed of eroge games, like Sacred Sword Princesses and Foxynite, that offer things flash game players could only dream about years ago. Sacred Sword Princess, for example, hosts popular special events. Holidays, new seasons and anniversaries give you a chance to experience new story chapters, new characters, and earn themed costumes. In-game events give fans a reason to come back, again and again, to check out what’s new.
New tech also means new ways to play. Many eroge are mobile friendly or some are 100% mobile, which goes a long way if the game has any time-sensitive challenges. Another major advancement past the old flash games is online multiplayer in two different forms. Sacred Sword Princess offers a passive multiplayer experience with player ranking boards during special events where you compete against other players for the best spot, just like in an arcade. Games like Foxynite combine eroge with a full-fledged MMORPG, giving you chance to challenge yourself and your waifu alongside thousands of people online!
Foxynite goes further than almost every other eroge out there offering real-time battle modes, full CG, and a strategic battle drone mode that can help you level up even faster. The graphics on this game have advanced a long way from when eroge had mainly pixel art.
As tech evolves and international distribution systems grow, creators are realizing how eroge fans aren’t just into the genre for the graphic scenes. “Time for Plot” isn’t just a meme — fans do want a real plot sometimes!
Story quality has improved exponentially in recent years alongside voice acting, gameplay, translations and availability. We really are living in a golden age of eroge with a game for every flavor of fandom. Now go out there and get weird with whatever makes you happy.