When The Binding of Isaac was released earlier this year on Mac and PC (or, more specifically, on any standard computer supporting the game’s underlying Flash engine), it was an immediate hit among both critics and fans alike. This was, in part, due to the game’s generous price point (at the moment you can find The Binding of Isaac on Steam for a mere $5) though more importantly this mass adulation was the result of Binding being a dark, grotesque dungeon romp with delightfully retro graphics, clever, meaningful writing, and an utter lack of what most would consider ethical and moral propriety. With that in mind, it should be seen as great news that The Binding of Isaac is now officially coming to home consoles, even if we aren’t exactly yet sure which ones that might include.
In a post-mortem written on The Binding of Isaac by the game’s creator, Edmund McMillen, for Gamasutra, McMillen offers an unexpectedly candid look at his future plans for the title. According to McMillen, The Binding of Isaac has sold over one million units in its current iteration, and as one might expect this drew attention for the independent game from established video game publishers. Specifically, McMillen was contacted by Nicalis, the relatively small publisher most famous for the 3DS’ enhanced Cave Story port, who wanted to bring The Binding of Isaac to home console platforms. McMillen, he claims, was all for this idea, though he laid down a stringent set of guidelines for Nicalis before signing the game over to the publisher.
“I wanted the game to feature the second planned expansion that I couldn’t do in the Flash version, I wanted it to feature local co-op, I wanted the graphics to be totally remade in 16-bit but still look and feel like the Flash version, and finally, I didn’t want to deal with anything when it came to business,” McMillen writes. “Nicalis has agreed to these terms, and development has started on The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.”
While McMillen’s list of planned inclusions for this new, improved version of The Binding of Isaac should sound enticing to anyone who has ever played the game before, the one key nugget of information we’re still lacking is what platform or platforms might eventually play host to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. McMillen claims that all the major console manufacturers have expressed an interest in bringing Rebirth to their respective platforms, though he does stress a realistic fear over turning his inarguably controversial game over to Nintendo’s notoriously strict censors. Further, while he has reservations as to how Rebirth might function on an iPad, he says that if Nicalis is able to make it work to his standards, that he’d love to see The Biding of Isaac appear on one of Apple’s increasingly ubiquitous tablets.
Finally, it should be noted that while we don’t know when The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth might appear, it seems likely that our wait won’t be too lengthy. The original game was created in a matter of mere months by a team of two people, so having Nicalis’ cash and development teams working on this updated version of the title should help minimize the game’s development cycle. We’ll bring you more information as it comes available.