Edmund McMillen on Four Souls Requiem, farts, fans, and fatherhood


The “Four Fs” of success

[Update: If you want to listen to the talk in standalone podcast form, links for that can be found here.]

As of this writing, there’s less than 48 hours to go on the Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem Kickstarter, though it’s already been a massive success. As I told Edmund in this surprise episode of Sup, Holmes?, I wasn’t sure this expansion pack would top the original. Boy was I wrong. People love Isaac, and they love it more than ever.

I’m sure the amazing crossover “Warp Zone” cards, featuring Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Hollow Knight, QWOP, Salad Fingers, Friday Knight Funkin’, Celeste, Among Us, and many others didn’t hurt either. But ultimately, Isaac: Four Souls Requiem exploded with popularity — sitting at around $6 million right now, nearly three times as much as the Kickstarter for the first game — because Edmund makes incredible games, and his fans know it.

I figured that’s what Ed and his wife Danielle would talk about in this impromptu interview. We were supposed to chat for 15 minutes about the new game and get the audio posted as a standalone video as soon as possible. About two hours later, we finally stopped talking. We even got to see his ten-month-old baby poop in her diapers live on camera. It was a moment, and a movement, that I won’t soon forget.

If you know Ed, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. Formality isn’t something he’s made for. At one point, he even said he didn’t want to talk about “the f*cking Kickstarter” at all. Avoiding “the profit motive” is important to him, though it was clear he was excited that the campaign was doing so well. Promoting his work is like a game he’s playing with his audience, where ultimately, everyone can win.

Ed and I have done many interviews over the years, but this one felt different. As I said to his face, I’ve rarely been this excited about where a game developer’s life and career are going. After watching (or just listening) to this video, I think you’ll feel the same way.