Nintendo Says No To The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac

The lil’ Indie game isn’t heading to the Nintendo eShop after all. 

One game that I was always curious about was The Binding of Isaac by indie dev Team Meat (the folks behind Super Meat Boy). The story is about a little boy name Isaac who is struggling to escape his home before his mother, who believes is being led by the voice of God, sacrifices him to prove the strength of her faith. Pretty heavy stuff, eh? But it has been getting a lot of praise  and is selling like gangbusters on Steam. Overall, it does sound like an intriguing game.

A while ago there was news that Team Meat and Nintendo were discussing the possibility of porting The Binding of Isaac to the 3DS (via Nintendo’s eShop). It seems that this is no longer the case.

Isaac mastermind Edmund McMillen took to Twitter:

More Tweets explain that the reason Nintendo cites as the main cause of the rejection was that the game contains “questionable religious content”.

While it is a shame that the game won’t be able to experience life outside of Steam, I can kinda see why Nintendo decided to pass. It is pretty heavy subject matter. Visually, it’s all very cartoony-looking, but the action is violent as hell. This might not bode well for Nintendo’s squeeky-clean image with families.

Also… well… the layout of the game looks like the original Legend of Zelda. And a lot of parents are familiar with Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda

Here’s The Legend of Zelda. Magical, whimsical… good ol’ times.


Binding of Isaac - Basement 2

Here’s The Binding of Isaac. It really does have a similar layout, and parents might come to think that both games are the similar in content as well (when they really aren’t).

Picture this scenario: kid goes to parent with 3DS asking to put more money in the eWallet so that he could buy The Binding of Isaac. Parent looks at some screenshots quickly, thinks, “oh! It’s like that Zelda game you like so much!” and happily agrees. Said parent then decides to borrow kid’s 3DS and play Isaac, thinking it’s a whimsical tale… only to find out that it’s not. She then runs to the nearest news outlet and tells them that Nintendo is selling a dose of evil to children.

… I know! I know! It sounds so utterly stupid! But ya know what? I can easily see that sort of thing happen.

I think the only thing that would probably help would be to put something in place that’s a bit stronger than an age gate (’cause everyone knows how to bypass those). There needs to be some sort of parental control on the 3DS. One that can’t be easily broken by a kid doing a Google Search.

[NINJA EDIT: Silly me forgot that there are parental controls on the 3DS… though someone can still guess what the 4-digit password is and reset the system. Dang…]

If you’re interested in trying The Binding of Isaac, head over to Steam. Looks like I’ll have to at some point.

SourceBinding of Isaac not coming to 3DS eShop, [Joystiq]

Be Free From Your Bindings!


How do you feel about Nintendo’s decision to not have The Binding of Isaac on the eShop? Do you think they should’ve gone ahead and put it up there anyway, or do you think they made the right choice by not having it there? Share your thoughts in the Comments Section!


Hiya! Sonji "Mineeva" Goodman here. I'm a knitter, crocheter, lover of cheesecake and sushi. Been playing video games since the age of 5 and haven't looked back. Currently working on mastering Japanese and figuring out how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a Tootsie pop. You can follow me on Twitter at @vsog_mineeva, the Vast Sea of Games Facebook Page and on Instagram.

5 Responses to Nintendo Says No To The Binding of Isaac

  1. Dirty says:

    Binding of Isaac is an incredible game, the gameplay is awesome and the humor is great (if dark humor doesn’t scare you off). Picked it up for less than two dollars on Steam one day and it’s easily worth more than that.

    But I do understand the decision; the story begins with you running, naked, into your basement because your mother tries to kill you in the name of God. A little heavier than the average Zelda plot :P

  2. […] Super Meat Boy’s WiiWare release being cancelled over a year ago wasn’t enough, now the plug has been pulled on a 3DS release of The Binding of Isaac.  The decision makes sense – the game is based on […]

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