So a controversial 3DS eShop game was stopped by Nintendo recently before it reached the digital storefront. According to a tweet by the developer, Edmund McMillen, he wasn't too happy with Nintendo's decision to not sell the game due to religious undertones.
This story has been picking up steam as of late (see what I did there?) and a lot of gamers are very disappointed in Nintendo but is it truly justified? Read on to find out my take on this hot topic.
A lot of gamers want to be able to play a bunch of different games, including controversial games, and they want to be able to play those games on the console of their choice. It is often seen as a right instead of a privilege. I love to play games (that's why I write these articles for you folks to read) and I want to be able to play some controversial games, and maybe even some AO (Adults Only) games if the game seems fun enough to play. But it is still the company's decision as to whether or not I get to play the game on their console. I can speak with my money and stop supporting the company if they really start censoring games I want to play and I buy the game on another console or through another avenue.
To be honest, I'm not surprised that Nintendo stopped this game from reaching the eShop. Although I don't believe censorship of games is something that should be promoted, games are a form of art, and Nintendo is basically the museum / curator for the art. They have the right to display the games on their shelves just like Wal-Mart has the right to sell the items on their store shelves that portray the appropriate image. Nintendo, for better or worse, has an image that its games are "kid friendly" and parents have learned to trust Nintendo games to be safer for their kids than possibly some other console's games. Even though the Wii has some M-rated games, they aren't as prevalent as they are on other consoles (which sucks in my eyes but I live with it).
Keeping Nintendo's image in mind, read this game's description and answer (from a business standpoint) if it makes sense to sell this game on the 3DS eShop:
"The Binding of Isaac's plot is a spin-off of the bible story with the same name. Isaac, a child, and his Mother live in a small house on a hill, both happily keeping to themselves, with Isaac drawing pictures and playing with his toys, and his mother watching Christian Broadcasts on the Television. Isaac's mother then hears "a voice from above", stating her son is corrupted with sin, and needs to be saved. It asks her to remove all that was evil from Isaac, in an attempt to save him. His mother obliges, taking away his toys, pictures, game console and even his clothes.
The voice once again speaks to Isaac's mother, stating he must be cut off from all that is evil in the world. Once again, his mother obliges, and locks Isaac inside his room.
Once more, the voice speaks to Isaac's mother. It states she has done well, but it still questions her devotion, and requests she sacrifice her son. She obliges, grabbing a kitchen knife, and walking to Isaac's room. Isaac, watching through a sizeable crack in his door, starts to panic. He finds and enters a trapdoor, just before his mother opens his bedroom door. Isaac then puts the paper he was drawing on onto his wall, which becomes the title screen." ~ Wikipedia
Now I have no problem with religious undertones in a game, and there are plenty of games that have devils and demons and all sorts of religious figures in them, but Nintendo wouldn't be wise in releasing this game on their console unless a) they believe a lot of people REALLY want to play it and that not releasing it will tarnish its company's image, b) they want to shake their kid friendly image (and stopping a controversial game wouldn't be too bright), or c) they want a bunch of mothers calling them with concerns and possibly stupid lawsuits.
I'm sure the game is fun to play, but you sadly will not be playing this game on your 3DS. Nintendo made their decision, and Steam will be selling the game instead. As I said before, consumers can speak with their dollars and get the game on Steam and make the game a best seller to show Nintendo that they made a terrible mistake preventing the game's release on their system. Companies don't really seem to care about the consumer's thoughts on a game until it starts affecting their bottom line. Start affecting their profits and companies will start taking notice. Well, smart companies will...