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The Binding of Isaac’s abused boy gets rejected by Apple

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a dirty, disgusting, and provocative game. It’s also great, as we discussed in our review of the much improved version of the original game, which was just labeled The Binding of Isaac. It features a religious narrative that brings up both child abuse and the bible in the same story. But despite its artistic qualities and responsive gameplay, Apple thinks it’s a little bit too much for iOS users to handle.

The developer had apparently applied for publishing rights on Apple’s App Store, but the response it got was pretty clear. Producer and co-developer of Rebirth (as well as the creator of the original game), Tyrone Rodriguez tweeted concerning the rejection.

“Your app contains content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App.”

So much for that. The developer originally spoke of a possible iOS version back in 2014, but said that he would only release it if it wouldn’t be garbage. Since then, nobody had heard about the port until yesterday’s tweet. Understandably, Rodriguez didn’t take the news very well. His game criticizes domestic abuse more than anything, and the heavy cartoon influences should work in its favor when it comes to how severe the restrictions are with depictions of violence.

Isaac was previously published on Nintendo’s portable 3DS and its stationary Wii U console. The company behind iconic and family-friendly franchises like Super Mario and Kirby initially rejected the game for both gaming systems. The reason was said to be due to “questionable religious content.” But after some assistance from Nintendo’s former director of indie development, Dan Adelman, the developer was finally able to launch on Nintendo’s platforms last year, according to an interview with Rodriguez held by Polygon.

Before any talk of whether the iOS version of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth could pull through, whether the developer will keep trying to get the game published or not is still up in the air.