An independently-developed game named The Binding of Isaac was looking to release on the 3DS eShop last year, but was stopped because of Nintendo’s restrictions on games with religious themes. Now, Dan Adelman of Nintendo has expressed regret over this incident:
Adelman said: “it kind of kills me…it kills me right now that I had to make that phone call.”
“We carve out some categories of content we don’t allow,” Adelman also stated while talking to IGN. “Religious themes is one of those topics. And so it was deemed to be in violation of that.” The Binding of Isaac has unconventional interpretations of Biblical stories, and so the game did not fit with Nintendo’s guidelines.
So, should Nintendo be changing its views? Adelman himself envisions The Binding of Isaac selling well on 3DS in a world where it is allowed onto the system’s eShop. “Maybe we should revisit the entire concept guideline on religious themes,”, Adelman conceded. He added: “Maybe we should just get rid of that altogether. But given that, that’s right now one of our stances.”. However, Adelman also thought that Nintendo has to “remain true” to the rules it has made.
Furthermore, Damon Baker – who does Nintendo’s marketing – said that “there have been a lot of initiatives recently in terms of revamping the guidelines, re-addressing how to make the development process easy as possible for Nintendo platforms…We’re going to continue to hit that message over and over. But hopefully it’s becoming more and more clear that it’s easier than ever before to develop games for Nintendo platforms.”
Back to Dan Adelman, though, for an admission of Nintendo’s need to change and develop their views and rules. Adelman said: “We’re definitely open to revisiting [policies] from time to time,”. Continuing on: “What we need to do is be a bit more flexible sometimes as far as interpreting those guidelines and making exceptions where they do make sense. But we’re a large company. We’re kind of going through some of our own growing pains in that regard.”
So, hopefully Nintendo will be wise in how it creates guidelines. But do you want Nintendo to change this?