Edmund McMillen

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Edmund McMillen
Edmund McMillen cropped.jpg
McMillen at the Game Developers Choice Awards in March 2012
Born (1980-03-02) March 2, 1980 (age 41)
OccupationVideo game designer, artist
Known forSuper Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac (Rebirth), The End Is Nigh
Spouse(s)Danielle McMillen (m. 2005)

Edmund Charles McMillen[1] (born March 2, 1980) is an American video game designer and artist known for his Flash game visual style.[2] His most notable works include 2010's side-scroller Super Meat Boy and 2011's roguelike game The Binding of Isaac and its 2014 remake.

Early life[edit]

McMillen has been a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz, California.[3] He went to school at Soquel High School.[4] He is fond of drawing, his favorite subject being monsters.[3] McMillen spent most of his childhood with his grandmother, whom he considers to be the greatest source of support in his creative endeavors. Later in his life, McMillen received a box from his grandmother that contained all of his drawings as a child. Many of these drawings can be seen by unlocking The Box in one of his games, The Basement Collection.[3] His childhood represents his own game creations, more specifically The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. In an interview with Indie Game: The Movie he explains that his family was consistently riddled with alcohol and drug addiction, as well as being “born again” Christians. He was confronted by this extreme faith, which caused him religious guilt and mental problems causing him to grow a desire to fight back, resulting in his acting out against them.


McMillen's initial graphic work was in independent comics.[5][6] While he has largely abandoned this field in favor of video games, he has released a series of comics featuring Meat Boy, the title character in the video game Super Meat Boy, as a promotional tie-in for the game.[7] His most well-known games are the Flash-based game Meat Boy, and its sequel Super Meat Boy, which has been released for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4. McMillen is also known for the games Gish, Aether, The Binding of Isaac and Coil. Gish won Game Tunnel's 2004 Adventure Game of the Year, as well as Indie Game of the Year.[8][9] His game Coil was nominated for the Innovation Award at the 2009 Independent Games Festival.[10] McMillen was the original character artist and animator on Braid,[10] before those assets were replaced by the work of David Hellman.[11] Braid went on to win the Innovation Award at the 2006 Independent Games Festival prior to its release, and several awards in 2008, including GameSpot's Best Platformer,[12] and Best Original Downloadable Console Game,[13] and the 12th Annual Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Awards Casual Game of the Year.[14] His game Aether was a 2009 IndieCade finalist and received an honorable mention.[15]

Super Meat Boy[edit]

McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes established Team Meat, an independent game production company, with the intent that they would never utilize a third-party publisher.[16] Their first game, Super Meat Boy, was released on October 20, 2010 on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade,[17] and on Valve's digital distribution system Steam on November 30, 2010.[18] A release was planned for the Nintendo Wii, but was canceled. According to Kotaku, problems arose due to the file size limitations of the Wii's WiiWare Channel.[19] A retail version of the game was released on April 5, 2011.[20] Due to Sony's initial lack of interest in the game, Team Meat entered into contractual obligations that prohibit the game from being released for the Sony PlayStation 3.[21] McMillen and Refenes responded to the success of Super Meat Boy and the impossibility of a sequel in a brief statement that read, "We feel like we did it...the 1st time."[22] McMillen and Refenes' development of Super Meat Boy was featured in the film Indie Game: The Movie.

In a 2017 interview with Eurogamer, Refenes revealed that McMillen was no longer a part of Team Meat and would not play a role in developing the game's sequel, Super Meat Boy Forever.[23] McMillen later confirmed this in a blog post.[24][25] The sequel was released in 2020.

The Binding of Isaac[edit]

The Binding of Isaac is an indie roguelike video game designed by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, initially released in 2011 for Microsoft Windows; the game was later ported for OS X, and Linux operating systems. The game's title and plot are inspired by the Biblical story of the Binding of Isaac. In the game, Isaac's mother receives a message from God demanding the life of her son as proof of her faith, and Isaac flees into the monster-filled basement of their home where he must fight to survive. Players control Isaac or one of six other unlockable characters through a procedurally generated dungeon in a roguelike manner, fashioned after those of The Legend of Zelda, defeating monsters in real-time combat while collecting items and power-ups to defeat bosses and eventually Isaac's mother.

The game was the result of a week-long game jam between McMillen and Himsl to develop a The Legend of Zelda-inspired roguelike that allowed McMillen to showcase his feelings about both positive and negative aspects of religion that he had come to discover from conflicts between his Catholic and born again Christian family members while growing up. McMillen had considered the title a risk but one he could take after the financial success of Super Meat Boy, and released it without much fanfare to Steam in September 2011, not expecting many sales. The game soon gained popularity partially as a result of various Let's Play videos showcasing the title. McMillen and Himsl released an expansion "Wrath of the Lamb" in May 2012, but were limited from further expansion due to limitations with the Flash platform. They had started working with Nintendo in 2012 to release a 3DS version, but Nintendo later backed out of the deal, citing controversy over the game's religious themes.

Developer Nicalis worked with McMillen in 2014 to complete a remake of the game, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, bringing additional features that McMillen had planned that exceeded Flash's limitation, as well as to improve the game's graphics and enable ports for other systems beyond personal computers, including PlayStation 4 and Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and the Nintendo Switch.

The End is Nigh[edit]

The End Is Nigh is a platforming adventure video game developed by Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel. The game was released on July 12, 2017 on Microsoft Windows via Steam. Ports of the game were released on August 15, 2017 on macOS and on December 12, 2017 for Linux and Nintendo Switch, with a port for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in development. The game has been described as a spiritual successor to McMillen's Super Meat Boy.


Game Platform Co-developer(s) Publisher(s) Release year Notes
The Backup Files Adobe Flash 2001
The Lonely Hermit Adobe Flash 2001 Included in The Basement Collection
Dead Baby Dressup! Adobe Flash 2001
12 uses of dead babies Adobe Flash 2001
Dead Baby Dressup 2! Adobe Flash 2001
6 more dead baby uses Adobe Flash 2001
Dead Baby Dressup 3 Adobe Flash 2001
Stile man Dressup Adobe Flash 2001
WWF baby dressup Adobe Flash 2001
8 More Dead Baby Uses! Adobe Flash 2001
Dead Baby Dress up 4 Adobe Flash 2001
The Boy who QuestionedGod Adobe Flash 2001
Dead Baby Dressup X Adobe Flash 2001
Dead Baby Super Hero Dres Adobe Flash 2002
Dead Baby Dressup best of Adobe Flash 2002
Carious Weltling Adobe Flash 2003
SnackOlantern Adobe Flash 2003 Described by Edmund as his worst game
Clubby The Seal Adobe Flash 2004
Gish Windows, OS X, Linux Cryptic Sea Chronic Logic 2004 First big project game
Carious Weltling 2 Adobe Flash 2005
Weltling Dressup Adobe Flash 2005
Viviparous Dumpling Adobe Flash 2005
Cerebral Discharge iii Adobe Flash 2005
Blast Miner Windows Cryptic Sea Chronic Logic 2006
Triachnid Adobe Flash Florian Himsl 2006 Included in The Basement Collection
Holiday Snow Wars Adobe Flash 2006
Cereus Peashy Adobe Flash 2007
Weltling 2: Regurgitated Adobe Flash 2007
Host Adobe Flash 2007 Online multiplayer game
Guppy Adobe Flash 2007 (no release) A prototype, unreleased
Blood Car 2000! Adobe Flash Cryptic Sea 2008
Coil Adobe Flash Florian Himsl 2008 Included in The Basement Collection
Blood car! 2000! Delux! Adobe Flash 2008
DeadBaby VG Dressup Adobe Flash 2008
Twin Hobo Rocket Adobe Flash Florian Himsl 2008
Cunt Adobe Flash Florian Himsl 2008
Aether Adobe Flash Tyler Glaiel 2008 Included in The Basement Collection
Meat Boy Adobe Flash 2008 Included in The Basement Collection
Clubby: Killing Season Adobe Flash 2008
Grey-Matter Adobe Flash Team Meat 2008 Included in The Basement Collection
Meat boy (map pack) Adobe Flash 2008
AVGM Adobe Flash Tyler Glaiel 2009 Included in The Basement Collection
Spewer Adobe Flash 2009 Included in The Basement Collection
Time Fcuk Adobe Flash 2009 Included in The Basement Collection
Super Meat Boy Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, PS4, Nintendo Switch,[26] PS Vita,[26] Wii U Team Meat Team Meat 2010 First console game
The Binding of Isaac Windows, OS X, Linux, Adobe Flash Florian Himsl 2011
Wrath of the Lamb Windows, OS X, Linux Florian Himsl 2012 Expansion for The Binding of Isaac
The Basement Collection Windows, OS X, Linux Tyler Glaiel 2012 Collection of old Flash games
Facist Adobe Flash 2014 Game jam game
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, New 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, iOS Nicalis Nicalis 2014 Remake of The Binding of Isaac
Fingered Windows James Id 2015
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth Windows, PS4, Xbox One, OS X, Linux Nicalis Nicalis 2015 First Expansion of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ Windows, OS X, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One Nicalis Nicalis 2017 Second Expansion of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The End Is Nigh Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, Nintendo Switch Tyler Glaiel Tyler Glaiel 2017
The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Card game Danielle McMillen, Tyler Glaiel Studio71 2018
The Legend of Bum-bo Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch James Id 2019
Tapeworm Card game Studio71 2020[27]
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance Windows Nicalis Nicalis 2021[28] Third Expansion to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Upcoming games[edit]

Name Platform Co-devoper(s) Publisher(s) Release Notes
Mew-Genics Windows Tyler Glaiel TBA Resumed development in 2018[29][30]

Unreleased games[edit]

Game Platform Announced State
Gish 2 None 2007-2008 Announced, later cancelled
Hitlers Must Die None 2009 Announced but then cancelled
Øuroboros Windows 2016 Became The End is Nigh


  1. ^ "Edmund McMillen Breaks Down His Game Design History (Meat Boy, Isaac & More) | Noclip".
  2. ^ Toots (2008-08-08). "The Delightfully Demented World of Edmund McMillen". Gay Gamer. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-12-18. Edmund McMillen splashed onto the scene with his signature art style in Gish, a side-scrolling platformer with a dementedly unique style.
  3. ^ a b c "IndieGame: The Movie "Growing Up Edmund"". IndieGameTheMovie via YouTube. 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  4. ^ "MetroActive Features | Santa Cruz Artists to Watch". www.metroactive.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  5. ^ Sikora, Drew (2008-11-10). "10 Years of Independent Art on CD from Edmund McMillen". gamedev.net. Retrieved 2010-12-18.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ timw (2008-08-28). "Interview: Edmund McMillen, Part 2". indiegames.com. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  7. ^ McElroy, Justin (2009-09-28). "Exclusive: The new Super Meat Boy comic". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  8. ^ "Adventure Game of the Year". Game Tunnel. 2004-12-11. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  9. ^ "2004 Independent Game of the Year". Game Tunnel. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  10. ^ a b Caoili, Eric (2009-02-03). "Road To The IGF: McMillen and Himsl's Coil". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  11. ^ Hellman, David (2008-08-05). "The Art Of Braid: Creating A Visual Identity For An Unusual Game".
  12. ^ "GameSpot's Best Games of 2008: Best Original Downloadable Console Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  13. ^ "GameSpot's Best Games of 2008: Best Licensed Music". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  14. ^ Jenkins, David (2009-02-20). "LittleBigPlanet Dominates At AIAS Awards". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  15. ^ "IndieCade 2009 finalists". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  16. ^ Ransom-Wiley, James (2010-10-26). "If you think Super Meat Boy is hard, try developing it". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  17. ^ "Super Meat Boy". xbox.com. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  18. ^ "Super Meat Boy on Steam". Steam. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  19. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2010-11-01). "Size Limit Spoils Super Meat Boy's November Release On WiiWare". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  20. ^ "Amazon.com: Super Meat Boy Ultra Edition: Video Games". amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  21. ^ Sterling, Jim (2010-11-12). "No Super Meat Boy on PS3, and you can blame Sony". Destructoid. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  22. ^ McMillen, Edmund (2010-10-30). "No SMB 2!". Team Meat. Archived from the original on 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  23. ^ Phillips, Tom (26 September 2017). "Super Meat Boy Forever and the return of Team Meat". Eurogamer. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  24. ^ "A New Years QA!".
  25. ^ Devore, Jordan (2017-08-30). "Super Meat Boy Forever is a 'true sequel' due out in 2018". Destructoid. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Super Meat Boy Coming to PS4, PS Vita (Yes, Really!)". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  27. ^ "Edmund McMillen Launches Kickstarter For 'Tapeworm', A Strategic And Spatial Card Game". Forbes. April 28, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  28. ^ https://twitter.com/edmundmcmillen/status/1377151503715102730
  29. ^ "Mew-Genics is back in development". destructoid. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  30. ^ "A New Years QA!". . Retrieved 2018-05-08.

External links[edit]