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

Scott Cawthon will select a successor to take over the series following backlash over support for Donald Trump and more

Scott Cawthon, the creator of popular horror series Five Nights At Freddy's, is retiring from professional games development.

In a statement on his site, he indicated he would return to making games as a hobby.

The announcement comes on the seven-year anniversary of the debut trailer for the first game, but also follows a week of controversy around Cawthon and his donations to US political parties.

Recent reports shared OpenSecrets' record of Cawthon's past donations, amounting to over $36,000, the vast majority of which has been given to Republican candidates, including divisive figures such as former President Donald Trump.

These sparked a public backlash against the developer, prompting a statement on a now-locked thread of the FNAF subreddit.

"I'd like to think that the last seven years would have given me the benefit of the doubt in regards to how I try to treat people, but there I was, trending on Twitter for being a homophobe, getting doxed, with people threatening to come to my house," Cawthon wrote.

"All this because I exercised my right, and my duty, as an American citizen, to vote for and support the candidates who I felt could best run the country, for everyone, and that's something I won't apologise for."

Cawthon emphasised that the candidates he donated to include a mix of "men, women, white people, Black people, Republicans and Democrats." However, it's worth noting only one of the 18 donations made went to a Democratic candidate: $2,500 to Hawaii's Tulsi Gabbard.

He also explained his donation to President Trump, stating he believed Trump was "the best man to fuel a strong economy and stand up to America's enemies abroad, of which there are many."

Cawthon continued: "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. All of this explanation, I fear, is wasted, as people don't want to discuss with one another anymore; they want endless apologies and submission. People who are expecting those from me will get neither."

Sure enough, no apology is given in the new statement announcing his retirement, nor is there any allusion to his political beliefs or the backlash, beyond him saying: "I have been shown tremendous love and support over this last week, a lot of which has come from the LGBTQ communinty."

Looking forward, Cawthon said he will be handing the reins of the FNAF franchise to "someone of my choosing, and someone that I trust" while he focuses on more personal projects.

"Now I'm approaching my mid-40s, I realise that I miss a lot of things that I go to focus on before FNAF became such a success," he wrote. "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."

He concluded: "I only ask that my fanbase respect my decision. I will still be around, just not in the capacity that I used to be."

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Latest comments (2)

Gary Shaw Programmer, Next Level GamesA month ago
On the democracy index the US is listed as a flawed democracy and I can see why. Apparently freedom of thought and freedom of voting are in jeopardy. If you vote for someone people don't like, then you can lose your livelihood as demonstrated by this article.
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer A month ago
It's ridiculous he is resigning over some political donations, even if it were extreme right/left winged parties. The people who complain about it are the biggest hypocrites as they seemingly are against a real democracy as they don't allow others to have their own opinion unless it conforms to their thinking. I really loath people who try to make a problem out of this as all they try to do is get their own 15-minutes of fame and try to force others to think like them, hmmm, that sounds just like common dictators to me..
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