Five Nights at Freddy’s creator jumps back from series

PLAY FREE BIRD lol rofl lmao

Several years ago, I went through a list of over 1,000 fan-made games inspired by Five Nights at Freddy’s. And that was before the jumpscare ’em up series really took off. Several games (and one troubled spin-off) later, creator Scott Cawthon has confirmed that he was working on a Five Nights 6 of sorts – but confirmed this by announcing its cancellation. The pressure of fan expectations was too high, he says, so he’s stepping back to spend more time with his family and make something else. Sounds sensible.

“For the last month or so I’ve been dropping hints about a new game; and it’s true that I’d been working on one (call it FNaF 6 if you’d like.)” Cawthon said in Friday’s announcement. He continued:

“But after forcing myself to keep working on it day after day, I realized something- I just don’t want to work on this. With each game’s release, I think the expectations get higher and higher for the next, and rightfully so. Each game SHOULD be better than the last! But that pressure starts to mount, and I fear that I’ve been neglecting other things in my life for the sake of trying to keep up with those mounting expectations.

“So, after giving this a lot of thought; I’ve decided that I’m going to stop working on it. I’m not going to reveal anything else about what the game was, and I’ve asked other people involved to never divulge anything either. It’s just not going to be talked about.”

Fair does!

Cawthon says he wants to “get back to what made game-making enjoyable in the first place” and has a few ideas for games that might be fun for fans. “Maybe I’ll try my hand at a pizzeria tycoon game, who knows.” And he’d like to make a VR game, and the Five Nights movie is still in the works at Blumhouse (who’ve produced most big modern horror movies, from Paranormal Activity to Get Out), and he fancies a third Five Nights book, and… look, he’s going to step back from the main games.

If you don’t know much about Cawthon, do check out his interview with Geeks Under Grace from 2014. He started out making explicitly Christian games but those flopped, he struggled with depression, and he ultimately came to make Five Nights at Freddy’s after someone said a character he made for another game looked like a scary animatronic. With Five Nights now a megahit, it’s been quite the trip.

9 Comments

  1. Troubletcat says:

    I’d like a new game about managing a pizza tycoon. Specifically, I’d like a game that hits the same notes as the first Pizza Syndicate.

    Only played a FNaF game once for like half an hour and don’t care to again – seemed rubbish. Bring on the pizza!

  2. HeroCrests says:

    I never delved into the series after the first one so I don’t know how good/bad it gets, but I thought the first game was good, and more importanty, necessary.

    Sure, it’s far from the best game ever and such, but to me it shows that you can still make original, fresh things with the genre. It might not look like it now, of course, but when the original Fnaf came out, I don’t think there was anything quite like it.

    And before anyone complains about how “everyone’s copying it so it sucks”, think back on Myst. Doom. Dragon Quest. Sonic. All great games that spawned many, many, many MOUNTAINS of garbage clones that eventually opened the door to the creation of entire genres as we know them today. It just happens that with the spread of the internet and more accesible tools it’s way easier to produce them, but this is not a new phenomenom whatsoever.

    Good for him, though, if he recognized things were stagnant and all he did right in backing off and doing something else. Maybe a bit later than he should have, but there’s so many creators that just never give up and keep alive something that should have died until the fans go kill it themselves.

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    Neurotic says:

    Good for him!

  4. poliovaccine says:

    Good for him indeed! He had a good idea, he milked it for all it was worth, and he’s quitting while he’s more or less ahead. I mean, if his goal was to make us all equally horrified of his animatronic characters and desireful of their death, whether we play the games or not, he certainly succeeded in that – the franchise name still inspires a certain, distinct sense of dread against the unkillable in me, but as ever, it seems that having some measure of personal morals killed the beast. Good for him indeed – I’m sure shoving off a cash cow like that is a little like casting off The One Ring. So as much as I hate the insufferable franchise, credit where it’s due. It was time (past time but who’s counting).

    • syndrome says:

      Nice thoughts.
      He’ll do it though.

      This is all just a PR ploy to relieve public pressure, because he doesn’t want to bear much hate after release. This is a tactic that works, you just open a valve a little, as it’s always better to disappoint early, while you’re ahead of the public, eventually everybody will say “Fair”.

      I can only imagine how such a statement could’ve made No Man Sky a much better game. Only psychologically, of course. If it was a financial struggle that was on a verge of being canceled… Even though it’d all be just a flavor text.

      Anyway, once a whore, always a whore.
      I mean, Five Nights at Freddies FIVE(!)
      C’mon. Humping whoring franchise-milking PR bullshit.

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        Phasma Felis says:

        Right, I forgot that game devs are supposed to eschew money and all material things, making games only for the satisfaction of righteousness and the occasional husk of bread in their begging-cup.

  5. yankee101 says:

    Thank god.
    As much as I enjoyed the first one or two games, this series has gone through to horror franchise cycle faster than any other and has become repetitive in a matter of 3-ish years. imo this applies to both the games and its fanbase.
    Wish Scott the best, and I hope he does something with the Desolate Hope stuff.