The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth Rejected By Apple Due To Violence Against Children

The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth Rejected By Apple Due To Violence Against Children

Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez has been tweeting teasing pics of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth running on iPad and iPhone over the past couple of weeks. It might be all we’ll see of the port, as last night he shared Apple’s rejection notice.

“C’mon, wtf… Apple” read the text accompanying the image of the iTunes Connect message shared by Rodriguez (via Polygon). Apple’s message reads, “Your app contains content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App (store?).”

Based on the story from the Hebrew Bible in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his child, Isaac, to test his faith, The Binding of Isaac is a 2D procedurally generated dungeon crawler featuring a young boy attempting to escape his mother, who’s been given a similar mandate. Designed by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, the game originally released on PC before being upgraded with a new engine and content as The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

The new version of the game has been ported to various game consoles, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PlayStation Vita. It’s even made an appearance on the 3DS and Wii U, two systems from Nintendo, a company known for strictly policing objectionable content. In fact Nintendo rejected an earlier port of the game for the 3DS, only its rejection was based on religious overtones rather than child abuse and violence.

As for Apple’s claims that the game features violence towards or abuse of children, I can see where they’d get that impression. The game is about a boy trying to escape his mother, who’s on a mission from god to end his life. The main image that springs to mind when thinking about the game is it titular character huddled on the ground crying, surrounded by monsters.

The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth Rejected By Apple Due To Violence Against Children

Hopefully Rodriguez and friends can find a way to make Apple see the light. I’d love to see the game on iPad or play it via the Apple TV that’s collecting dust on my TV stand. We shall see.

In the meantime, check out Patrick Klepek’s excellent interview with Edmund McMillen about the game’s biggest secret and how it nearly broke its creator.


  • man apple is even more strict than the ACB pre introduction of the R18 classification and Germany combined

  • Funny, Binding of Isaac gets reject due to violence against children.

    Yet years ago, it allowed Baby Shaker on the store and only pulled it after public outcry.

    • This might indicate they’re learning from past mistakes. Could be seen as a good sign, then.

    • Meanwhile the app store is full of bible apps which contain vivid descriptions of said violence against children.

  • Welp, Apple better ban digital copies of the Bible and everything else where the mere concept of a child being harmed is even hinted at.

    Apple and the rest of the world need to grow up. No amount of video games or films can prepare you for death in the real world. No matter how many digital heads I blow off I still feel deeply disturbed about the real thing.

  • Not on Xbox One in Australia still ?. It’s out in the US for the better part of a year now – I guess we’re not getting it and they’re not getting my money

    • Same on 3DS. I’m currently looking into how it will be possible to get it on my 3DS in any way I can, since the regular way (buying the game) is not an option.
      Disclaimer: I’ve actually purchased the base game, expansions, Rebirth and its expansion all on PC, so it’s not like I’m refusing to give the developer money. In this case, they just won’t let me.

      • It amazes me when I see popular games like this not on the 3DS and yet go browse the e-shop someday – if it’s economically viable to put out “My Little Puppy” or whatever other shovel ware trash on the 3DS in Australia how is it not economically viable for an actual game people have heard of?

  • One has to expect these things when Apple’s core demographic is the permanently outraged PC crowd.

        • Come again?

          PC stands for Personal Computer. If Macs are not a form of personal computer then what are they?

          Unless you were being sarcastic then my apologies for not seeing it as such.

          No trolling to be had there. Just asking why that illogical misnomer is still being used when even the architecture is the same now.

          • Oh, the *other* PC. Sorry about that.

            Didn’t realise you were talking about the imaginatively/intellectually challenged.

          • Quick, go back and delete your other responses so it looks like your original comment was intentional… 😀

          • PC in its common usage is for computers using the old IBM compatible train of thought where common interconnect systems allow you to mix and match parts from various manufacturers and use what ever operating system you choose. Apple macs do not allow that. Although they are starting to open up.
            So by common usage of the phrase macs are not PC’S

          • Not to get too far off topic but doesn’t that also rule out the ol’ Compaqs as well?

            And while that maybe the case now, the older Macs are not so proprietary. The old G4 and G5 machines do allow off any brand hard drive and memory provided they are of the right type (like being ECC for the PowerMacs).

          • Hence why I said they are opening up. But I still can’t get a nice Asus rog motherboard an amd chip an nvudia card and the put osx on it.

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