The Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise has appeared in the Guinness Book of Records: Gamer’s Edition, for most sequels released in a year. As such, one-man series developer Scott Cawthon has to keep up a near-endless stream of teasers, trailers and tidbits for the next title in the hit horror series.
For some weeks now, he has been teasing us with what appeared to be an upcoming Five Nights at Freddy’s 6, but there’s some sad news for FNAF-ers: it looks like this one’s not going to be after all. Not for the foreseeable future, at any rate.
In a blog post over on Steam last week, Cawthon confirmed that he had indeed been working on a Five Nights project (“call it FNaF 6 if you’d like,” he wrote, which is a little enigmatic). Just where this one would have fitted in the context of the series, or what form it would have taken is a mystery, and Cawthon sure isn’t telling. It’s all moot anyway, he told fans, as he has been forced to cancel the game in progress.
Speaking in his update on ‘the project,’ the series creator cited mounting pressure as the biggest reason behind his decision. “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,” he explained, “but that pressure starts to mount.”
Many franchise fans will completely understand his viewpoint here. Five Nights has its supporters, of course, but there are also gamers who argue that the creator is resting on his laurels, pumping out sequel after sequel just to stay relevant, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be lapped up by the faithful. The lore of Five Nights at Freddy’s is surprisingly intricate (the series has spawned a couple of novel adaptions, after all), but that’s a tough gig for one man to keep maintaining and keep improving upon.
Five Nights At Freddy’s started life as a mildly interesting, throwaway creepypasta of an idea, and quickly ballooned into a phenomenon nobody could have predicted. From one game erupted an entire media franchise, one that was pumping out the sequels faster than Call of Duty or FIFA Soccer. For Cawthon, this meant “…neglecting other things in my life for the sake of trying to keep up with those mounting expectations,” and this is why he feels compelled to stop working on the sixth series entry.
In spite of all of this, the Five Nights creator goes on to make two things clear: he is not abandoning video game development entirely, and he isn’t turning his back on the franchise itself either. Five Nights fans come first in his mind, he writes:
“Remember Foxy Fighters from Update 2? I loved working on that game. It was a lot of fun, and it took a lot of the pressure off me knowing that it was just for the fans of the games. That’s the kind of project that I'd like to work on again. Maybe I’ll try my hand at a pizzeria tycoon game, who knows. The point is that it would be something for fun, and something for the fans. I want to spend more time with my family, and get back to what made me enjoy making games in the first place.”
So there it is. First and foremost, he wants to go home and be a family man, and that’s something that any gamer and/or fan of snarky Guile memes can appreciate. Let’s not forget, either, that Scott Cawthon has a history of deceptive and super sneaky posting. It’s unlikely that this is some kind of elaborate ruse, but you can never be entirely sure when you’re dealing with this guy. Either way, fans will want to keep a curious eye on what’s next for the franchise.