Three years ago, The Binding of Isaac developer Edmund McMillen did an outline of the details on his then-upcoming remake, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. In the second bullet point, he mentioned bringing Isaac’s remade adventure to Microsoft consoles, Nintendo consoles, and finally, iOS devices. While The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth did end up making it to the Xbox One, it was a much harder battle to bring it to the Nintendo platforms. However, with some clever edits (Such as turning ‘God’ to ‘Dog’ and changing Christian imagery into Scientologist) the game managed to make the jump to Wii U and 3DS. However, it looks like the work is cut out for producer Nicalis to get the title to iOS.
Like many titles, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has been rejected by the first level of Apple’s App store Application process. Often this leads to a second level with Apple once the developer appeals where they are able to present their case and work through the issues some. Before appealing, Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez posted The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth‘s rejection on twitter, with the following explanation given.
“Your app contains content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App [Store].” For those unaware, not only does the entire plot of the game revolve around an abusive mother, but the main character Isaac is a young child who will naturally get bloodied (and likely killed) during battle. Some bosses also include the likes of twins attached by umbilical chords, and a possible final boss is even Isaac himself in the womb.
Something to note, is that games with explicit violence against children have made it to the app store before. You can purchase games like LIMBO (Which features many gory ways to get the playable child maimed, one of which is pictured above) or The Walking Dead (Which memorably has the option to shoot a sick child in the head) without any issue. Still, some censored games like Papers, Please, managed to appear fully uncensored on the app store after a rejection and the Apple App store is notorious among developers for it’s strictness on first submission.
The fate of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on iOS is currently unknown, although Tyrone has recently updated stating that he managed to get a hold of someone who directed him to go through the resolution center where Apple handles its appeals
This isn’t an uncommon sight, as many games are rejected the first time around for the iOS. Still, I think Tyrone’s reaction is the best to sum this situation up. “C’mon, wtf… Apple”