Popular indie game “The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth” has been rejected from the Apple App Store for supposedly portraying “violence against children.”
C'mon, wtf… Apple pic.twitter.com/aEygkjqH2b
— Tyrone Rodriguez (@tyronerodriguez) February 7, 2016
The game is loosely based on the Biblical tale in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of loyalty. In the game, you play as a young boy named Isaac, who escapes from his abusive mother into the basement where he has to fight against mutated creatures trying to attack him.
Though Isaac was also originally rejected from the Nintendo 3DS store back in 2012, it was not for violence, instead being blocked for “questionable religious content,” and the game is available on all other major digital distributors, including Steam, the Humble Bundle Store, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One.
So what’s with the App Store?
Apple is notoriously picky about games entering the App Store and has a history of rejecting and removing content that it deems too controversial or mature for audiences. After the Charleston shooting at a black church in June 2015, all civil war games featuring the Confederate flag were removed from the store, only to be relisted once the flag was removed from the games.
An app which notified users of drone strike victims was also removed in September for “excessively crude or objectionable content,” while Endgame: Syria, a game about the Syrian civil war, has also joined the list of rejected titles.
Apple seems to have a problem with controversial topics and refuses to have any part in listing projects based around them, but this doesn’t stop the company from regularly listing work by people like convicted woman-beater Chris Brown on their store homepage.
If you’re a risqué or colourful indie game developer, however, it is probably most efficient to just publish your title elsewhere.
Charlie Nash is a libertarian writer, memeologist, and child prodigy. When he is not writing, he can usually be found chilling at the Korova Milk Bar, mingling with the infamous. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrNashington.