Five Nights at Freddy's creator retires amid controversy over political donations

Five Nights at Freddy's plushies
(Image credit: Scott Cawthon)

Scott Cawthon has announced that he is retiring, and will no longer work on the popular Five Nights at Freddy's games, a series he began seven years ago. On his website Cawthon wrote, "I've had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career. 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."

Earlier this month it was revealed that Cawthon had donated significant amounts of money to conservative action committees and politicians, including Donald Trump. Many fans of the FNAF games are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and they reacted negatively to the news, which led to Cawthon announcing at the time "that's something that I won't apologize for."

In explaining his retirement, Cawthon focused on how he misses the playful nature of making games as an amateur. "I miss making games for my kids," he wrote, "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." He referred to the controversy only obliquely, saying, "I have been shown tremendous love and support over this last week, a lot of which has come from the LGBTQ community. The kindness shown to me has been surreal."

Cawthon also explained that, though he won't be making the games, the FNAF series will continue in some form. "Is this the end of FNAF? No. This just means that someone else will eventually be running the show; someone of my choosing, and someone that I trust. We will have to wait and see how it all plays out, but an announcement will be made at some point."

The next game in the series, Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach, was previously announced with a 2021 release date, and a movie adaptation was due to begin filming this year.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.