Scott Cawthon, the brilliant and passionate creator behind the wildly popular Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, has retired from the video game industry. He made the announcement through a post on his website in which he thanked his legions of fans for the support they’ve shown him over the years.
"“But here on the seventh anniversary of the first game’s trailer, as I realize that I was in my mid-30’s when I created the series and now I’m approaching my mid-40’s, I realize that I miss a lot of things that I got to focus on before FNAF became such a success. I miss making games for my kids, I miss doing it just for fun, and I miss making rpgs even though I stink at it. All of this to say that I am retiring.”"
Cawthon’s surprising announcement comes at a time when he finds himself embroiled in controversy for his past political donations. It was recently unearthed that the developer made several large donations to former United States President Donald Trump’s political administration. His support for several Republican lawmakers has also drawn criticism.
Cawthon addressed the entire situation in a lengthy post on Reddit and attempted to justify his political donations and the previous candidates he supported. He admitted that he supported President Trump “because I felt he was the best man to fuel a strong economy and stand up to America’s enemies abroad, of which there are many.”
Even though he acknowledged that there are candidates who said they were better for the LGBTQIA+ community — of which a large portion of the FNAF fanbase is comprised of — Cawthon defended that those candidate’s stances on other issues would’ve done greater harm to these targeted communities.
In light of his retirement, the Twitter community and FNAF has rallied behind Cawthon, spreading the hashtag “#ThankYouScott”. In most instances, the hashtag is being used for fans to express their gratitude for all of the good times Cawthon’s Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise has provided them.
The good news is the FNAF franchise isn’t going anywhere. Cawthon said a replacement of his choosing — someone he can trust to run the show — will be announced “at some point.”
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This is such a weird situation on so many levels. One one hand, you have the FNAF fanbase, heavily comprised of people from LGBTQIA+ community. Then you have Cawthon, supporting a party that openly goes against LGBTQIA+ rights. But the reaction to Cawthon’s political unearthing has been a mix of anger and feelings of betrayal as well as messages of support. Even those who are victims of the Republican party’s platform still express support for Cawthon, simply because his game helped save them in other ways.
In the end, it’s probably easier (and mentally beneficial) for Cawthon — who is probably already well off financially from the success of Five Nights at Freddy’s — to just walk away from the industry and focus on spending time with his family and exploring his passion.