Scott Cawthorn, the original creator and developer behind the Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) franchise, has announced his retirement.
The announcement was made early on Thursday, June 17. Cawthorn took to his personal gaming website to publish a statement addressing the situation. In it, he explains his motivations behind ending his career, thanks fans for their support, and shows off a piece of fanart from an unnamed 8-year-old.
His retirement comes amidst recent controversy after a list of his political donations went viral over the weekend. Cawthorn has been cited donating to the campaigns of several anti-LGBTQ+ politicians including Rep. Mitch McConnell and twice-impeached former-president Donald Trump.
FNAF Creator Scott Cawthorn Announces Retirement
In his statement, Cawthorn explained that his reasoning behind retirement comes down to nostalgia over the life he had "before FNAF became such a success." He wants to focus his attention on his children, spending time "protecting" and "making things for them."
"I've had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career," he wrote, "I was in my mid-30's when I created the series and now I'm approaching my mid-40's...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."
Fortunately for franchise fans, this isn't the end for FNAF. Cawthorn will be choosing his own replacement—someone whom he trusts—to drive the series onward. An announcement concerning who this individual might be will come "at some point."
Ultimately, he asks that the fanbase "respect [his] decision."
"What a blessed career I've had; what wonderful people I've met; and what a tremendous blessing to have been able to know all of you. Thank you so much," he wrote, "See you on the flipside.
Recent Homophobic/Transphobic Controversy
The donation list was published on Open Secrets and details the exact dates, individuals, and amounts Cawthorn donated to from 2015 onward. Among these, the most outstanding were $2500 USD to Ben Carson (R) in 2015, $933 USD to Calif. Rep. Devin Nunes (R) in 2020, $5000 to
Sen. Minority Ld. Mitch McConnell (R) in 2020, and $2000 USD to then-president Donald Trump (R) in 2019—allegedly to his re-election campaign.
In response to the outrage from LGBTQ+ members of the fanbase, Cawthorn published a lengthy statement on the official FNAF subreddit explaining his stance further. He did not apologize for the donations. Instead, he directly stated that fans "who are expecting those from me will get neither."
"Even if there were candidates who had better things to say to the LGBT community directly, and bigger promises to make, I believed that their stances on other issues would have ended up doing much greater harm to those communities than good." He wrote.
Cawthorn claimed that he "never cared about anyone's race, religion, gender, or orientation" and "tried to treat everyone fairly, and treat everyone with dignity and respect." When choosing individuals to work with, he simply chose the person that was "best for the job."
"That's the way it should be. That's the way I want it to be. That's the way I will continue to be," he wrote.
DBLTAP cannot confirm any leads as to who may take over the FNAF franchise in the future.