Indie game ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’ rejected by Apple over violence toward children

Apple has rejected an iOS version of the popular indie game The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth after deciding its content depicts “violence towards, or abuse of, children,” the game’s developer said on Twitter. The game, based loosely on the Old Testament story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac, revolves around the child protagonist’s efforts to escape the basement where he is being held by his mother. The console and platform versions of the game are rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, but feature only cartoonish violence similar to that found in Limbo, another popular iOS title that had no trouble getting approved despite being a platformer where a child essentially dies over and over again. But promotional images for The Binding of Isaac show a child naked and weeping on the floor, and Nintendo initially rejected the game for the 3DS and Wii U over objections to “questionable religious content.”
After some lobbying by the game’s parent company Nicalis, it finally launched on 3DS and Wii U last year, but there’s no word yet on whether Nicalis will appeal, resubmit or alter the game to get it onto Apple’s App Store. Apple has taken heat in recent months for banning apps related to hot-button issues like police shootings and U.S. government drone strikes, but the company refuses to comment on its decisions about what is appropriate for the App Store beyond the messages sent to developers. [via Polygon]


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.