Scott Cawthon is a renowned figure in the horror gaming genre, chiefly recognized for creating the immensely popular gaming franchise, Five Nights at Freddy’s. His career in game development, animation, and writing began in the 1990s, and he demonstrated his early talent by crafting his first game as a young child, later transforming it into a playful troll game. His official debut, RPG Max, was released in 2002, just before he joined the Christian animation organization, Hope Company, contributing to projects like The Pilgrims Progress and A Christmas Journey.
Over time, Cawthon developed games like Chipper and Sons Lumber Co., Sit N’ Survive, and The Desolate Hope. While The Desolate Hope made it through Steam Greenlight, the other two faced criticism, particularly for the animatronic movements of certain characters. This setback didn’t deter Cawthon. Instead, he channeled it into the creation of Five Nights at Freddy’s in 2014, a game that rapidly gained immense popularity, ultimately spawning eight installments, a movie, and numerous books.
In June 2021, Cawthon surprised the gaming community by announcing his retirement from public game development. Although the exact reasons weren’t officially confirmed, speculation arose regarding his political donations to former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. This led to a divisive response, with rumors circulating about Cawthon’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues. He addressed these concerns in a heartfelt post on Reddit, emphasizing his religious beliefs and expressing love for his LGBTQ+ fans.
Since his retirement announcement, Cawthon has devoted more time to his six children, emphasizing his desire to be present in their lives and create things for them. Despite stepping back from public game development, Cawthon remains connected to the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. He co-wrote a supernatural horror film based on the games, slated for release in 2023, featuring actors like Josh Hutcherson, Matthew Lillard, and Elizabeth Lail, which premiered on October 27, 2023.