A surprise iOS release for popular roguelike The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth might have been scuppered by Apple’s strict content regulations.
Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez tweeted a picture of Apple’s rejection letter this weekend, accompanied by the simple statement: C’mon, wtf… Apple.” The iPhone manufacturer says it blocked the release as it contains content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App".
Which of course is true, but in the same way that Papers Please contained nudity designed to prove a point and expand upon the central theme, it’s hard to argue that Isaac’s content is exploitative or glorifying. It’s a grim subject, certainly, but since when has art not been allowed to explore dark themes?
Note that not long after an edited version of Papers Please was released, Apple OK’d the addition of the previously cut content.
The Binding of Isaac is no stranger to controversy. Its release was previously blocked on Nintendo systems, although in that instance due its religious themes. The game was eventually given the green light on Wii U and 3DS, however.
Creator Edward McMillen says that the game is based on his own childhood experiences. In it protagonist Isaac is forced to flee from his devoutly Catholic mother after she comes to believe that God has demanded she sacrifice the life of her son to prove her faith.
C'mon, wtf… Apple pic.twitter.com/aEygkjqH2b
— Tyrone Rodriguez (@tyronerodriguez) February 7, 2016