The Five Nights at Freddy's series has gone from an unknown indie title to becoming one of the most well-known jumpscare games out there. While fans love it for the frights it provides, others feel it's just a rehashing of the same gimmick over and over.
Following the release of the latest entry, Five Nights at Freddy's 4, the distaste some hold for the series has spread to its creator. Creator Scott Cawthon has been aware of the negativity directed at him on forums and other public venues recently, and has taken the opportunity to respond to the criticism publicly on Steam.
Posting on the Five Nights at Freddy's 4 Steam general discussion forum, the developer took the opportunity to calmly explain his position on the criticism he's received. According to Cawthon, one of the most common forms of criticism he's received criticizes him for pumping out sequels just so he can make vast sums of money. He has notes that he has not lived a wealthy life, and he isn't spending his days rolling around in the money the franchise has earned him:
"Did you know that last year I was working at Dollar General? I worked as a cashier. I had three bosses who were all still in high school. Before that I worked at Target in the backroom freezer, unloading frozen foods. I haven’t had a successful life; and now that God has blessed me with some success, I’m doing my best to be responsible with that success. I don’t party on weekends, I don’t get drunk or sip martinis. I spend my evenings playing Megaman 3, buster only, with my kids. And I try to do good with what's been given to me."
Cawthon continues, noting that while the criticizers feel that the games are simply pumped out with little-to-no effort, that's not the case. Cawthon states that he's been working non-stop over the course of the year to develop the Five Nights at Freddy's games, and while he's fine with honest critiques of the quality of the games themselves, he finds it difficult to cope when people berate him directly.
While some gamers undoubtedly dislike the games because all four titles have been released in less than a year and all employ the same general gameplay, it's possible that some people also just hate them because of their outrageous popularity. YouTubers like Pewdiepie and Markiplier helped to make the first Five Nights at Freddy's famous by screaming their way through the jumpscares and broadcasting it for their massive YouTube subscriber fanbase, who then wanted to play the game themselves.
While the Five Nights at Freddy's series does continue to rely on animatronic jumpscares, that's the core idea behind what made the game popular. Additionally, the latest game of the series has changed up the gameplay, allowing players to freely traverse the home rather than being limited to one room. In any case, recent games like Amnesia have led to a rise in popularity of games like Five Nights at Freddy's where the player is essentially defenseless and can only hide.
Even so, some gamers may feel that sequels are useless if they don't expand upon the original title's gameplay and plot somehow, and some may feel that Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is a key example of this.
What do you think of Five Nights at Freddy's 4? Do you think it adds to the series? Let us know in the comments.
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is available now for PC on Steam.