When he released The Binding of Isaac, Edmund McMillen thought that no-one would like it – but that was okay. The title – which has now sold over 5 million units – was created as a reaction to the mainstream success of his previous game, Super Meat Boy, which propelled the indie hero into the spotlight.
In McMillen’s own words, following that hit, he wanted to make a ‘fuck you’ project.
“A lot of people don’t realise that I made like 30 games before Super Meat Boy,” McMillen says. “All my industry peers were becoming hugely successful. It was like: ‘If I want a future, I have to do this and do it right and do it to the best of my abilities’. It was time to get serious and do something before the bubble popped. That was Super Meat Boy.”
“Afterwards I wanted to go back and prove that I don’t need to chase the dollar again, that I don’t need to make another blockbuster indie game – which is funny at this point. I wanted to make something that was the opposite of that. I wanted to make a really risky, weird and abrasive game that would push people away from it.”
“I wanted to do a ‘fuck you’ project, just to say I’m still independent.”