Scott Cawthon, the independent developer best known as the creator of the Five Nights at Freddy series, has announced his retirement from professional game development.
“I’ve had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career,” Cawthon wrote on his personal website. “I’ve been shown great kindness and I’ve tried to show great kindness in return. I’ve tried to make some good games (let the debate ensue), and I’ve witnessed the creation of possibly the most creative and talented fanbase on the planet.”
“But here on the seventh anniversary of the first game’s trailer, as I realize that I was in my mid-30s when I created the series and now I’m approaching my mid-40s, I realize that I miss a lot of things that I got to focus on before Five Nights at Freddy’s became such a success,” Cawthon continued. “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 is to say that I am retiring.”
This doesn’t mean the end of Five Nights at Freddy’s, however, as Cawthon plans to choose someone else to oversee “running the show.” A new installment in the long-running series, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, is expected to come out later this year and a movie is in production at Blumhouse.
Cawthon recently came under fire after financial records showed that he had been making donations to controversial U.S. politicians, including former president Donald Trump and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, for a number of years. Cawthon responded to the public backlash by reiterating his beliefs while also claiming to have love for the LGBTQ+ members of his fanbase, despite supporting powerful people who have done everything they can to harm them.
“I’m a Republican. I’m a Christian. I’m pro-life. I believe in God,” Cawthon wrote in a now-locked Reddit thread. “I also believe in equality, and in science, and in common sense. Despite what some may say, all of those things can go together. That’s not an apology or promise to change, it’s the way it’s always been.”
Since Cawthon’s announcement went live, social media has been inundated with messages of appreciation for his work. The hashtag #ThankYouScott is currently among the top three trending Twitter topics in the United States.