Bum-Bo’s free DLC is back on track after a pretty crap year

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We haven’t heard from deckbuilding Isaac spin-off The Legend Of Bum-bo in a while, have we? After launching in a shaky state last year, the cardboard sewer-crawler creators went silent. Finally speaking this week, creator Edmund McMillen explained that the team have had a particularly rocky time with 2020 – and that hopefully, things have settled long enough to finally get back on track on that free DLC promised way back when.

Posting a long overdue update on Steam earlier today, McMillen called Bum-bo’s launch the messiest of his career. Unfortunately, the months that followed didn’t help matters much.

So, apparently, Bum-bo launched in a bit of a state on release. But while McMillen and co planned to get a small piece of free DLC out the door as a sort of make-up gift, those plans were repeatedly foiled by a series of roadblocks – the first being co-creator James Interactive’s slide into deep depression, which left him unable to continue work on the game.

“As someone who has also suffered from depression and anxiety I felt helpless seeing him in this situation,” McMillen wrote, “but I could do nothing to help him outside of pulling back and trying to figure out another way to continue dev without him as lead programmer.”

In a cycle that I find uncomfortably familiar, James would occasionally get back up to speed only to be knocked back down after a few days. That the Covid-19 outbreak eventually hit didn’t help matters. Eventually, McMillen would “bite the bullet” and hire two Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth collaborators to help get the DLC back on track, and to help with porting the game to console.

Then, of course, California suffered tremendous wildfires that forced McMillen to sell his Santa Cruz home and relocate with his new-born daughter. Even so, he and the team are now back at work on that long-delayed DLC. Kudos to ’em – if I’d gone through all that, I’d sleep it off ’til 2030.

Set to arrive sometime next year, the free DLC includes new character Bum-bo The Lost, along with some alternative bosses, new items, and some fan-requested features that we should hear more about closer to release. A nice wee addition to a game that, while unable to reach the dizzying highs of Isaac, still left Matt Cox with a sense of pleasant satisfaction in his Legend Of Bum-bo review. Hopefully, that’s a feeling its creators will eventually find.

“My relationship with bum-bo was very bittersweet,” McMillen says, closing out,” but I really hope that once this DLC launches next year and it eventually comes to consoles it will be in a place we are all very happy with.”


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