The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.
Throughout the nineties, bishōjo games underwent an evolution from being one of the most technologically demanding types of games (because their detailed 2D graphics required a large amount of storage space by the standards of early computers) to one of the least (they rarely use 3D graphics).
Thus, more than regular games, the main employees required by bishōjo game companies today are not programmers but artists and writers.
In 2001 Tokimeki Memorial 3 became the first bishojo game to break this trend.
However, low sales make it likely that other companies will stick with the traditional 2D graphics.
Particularly notable in this respect are Leaf's To Heart (1997), and Key's Kanon (1999).