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The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth runs afoul of App Store rules

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth runs afoul of App Store rules

Pocket Gaming
February 8, 2016

Not too long ago, we pointed to rumors and tweets that hinted at the possibility of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth coming to iOS. More proof of that has surfaced, but the game is facing a serious challenge to its arrival on the iPhone and iPad. Apple has rejected it because it contains “contents or features that depict violence towards children.”

It’s not a surprise, if you read the App Store Review Guidelines. Section 15.2 does clearly state, “Apps that depict violence or abuse of children will be rejected.” However, this ruling brings up the issue of inconsistent application of the rules during the app review process. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth developer Tyrone Rodriguez correctly points to popular iOS titles like The Walking Dead, which also depict violence against children.

Personally, I think it points to a major problem with getting independent titles onto the App Store. If one game is going to be approved with content that violates the guidelines, but another title gets rejected for the same thing, that’s a pretty serious problem. This might deter quality indie developers away from iOS in favor of the more-lenient Google Play Store, which would be a very troubling situation.

In this writer’s opinion, Apple should loosen its stance a bit on violence, and allow the game ratings to govern who does and doesn’t choose to download the game. It’s not really Cupertino’s responsibility to safeguard users from offensive content, and they’ve proven poor guardians of that particular categorization before. Let games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth onto the App Store, and then allow the potential downloaders to decide whether or not the title should be there.

If you want to see some indication of what the fuss is all about, check out the latest not-safe-for-work trailer for the game. Just be warned, the video does contain a bit more sexuality and nudity than is really appropriate for a game trailer.

Featured image credit: Khioora

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Walking Dead: The Game
Walking Dead: The Game
Telltale Inc

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