Scott Cawthon took the indie gaming scene by storm in 2014 with the release of the horror title “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” a game where you play as a security guard in a Chuck E. Cheese style pizzeria where every night the animatronics come to life and attempt to murder you. The original gameplay and creepy atmosphere were just the tip of the iceberg, and over the course of seven years, Cawthon created an in-depth game world that generated a massive fandom bent on unraveling the mysteries of the world of Freddy Fazbear.
Despite Cawthon’s dark game series revolving around psychological horror and serial killers, Cawthon himself is an open Christian with deep and abiding faith. What’s more, he’s openly pro-life as well. To be sure, it rubbed some of his fans the wrong way, but they remained his fans nonetheless.
However, it was recently discovered that Cawthon donated to Donald Trump, and that is apparently unforgivable. What’s more, according to GameRant, he donated to a single Democrat; Tulsi Gabbard, who has become a pariah in her own party. That only made it worse for Cawthon according to those who turned on him.
A quick aside, it’s highly likely that the vast majority of the people who were angry at Cawthon over this discovery have never played his games.
According to all accounts, the majority of the hate came from the LGBT activist community, famous for generating online mobs that target and intimidate people into compliance. That mob came after Cawthon with their trademark slacktivist rage, even going so far as to issue death threats and doxx him and his family. Regardless, Cawthon wasn’t going to be cowed into capitulation to the whims of the mob and refused to apologize for his stances and beliefs.
“To say that the last few days have been surreal would be an understatement. I’ve debated greatly how best to address this, including not addressing it at all, but with so many people from the LGBT community in the fanbase that I love, that’s not an option,” he wrote before noting, “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 that I won’t apologize for.”
However, the toll all the threats and open danger appear to have taken their toll on Cawthon and his family, and now he’s announced his retirement after seven years of success. Posting to his website, Cawthon looked back over his time as the developer of the FNAF franchise and noted that while it’s not the end for the property, it’s the end for him.
“I’ve had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career,” he wrote. “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.”
Cawthon went on to say that he’s spent a lot of time focusing on the FNAF franchise and misses making games for his kids, whom he had to miss at various times in order to see to the success and continuation of his games.
“All of this is to say that I am retiring. I have been shown tremendous love and support over this last week, a lot of which has come from the LGBTQ community,” he added.
While Cawthon never mentions the attacks on him in particular, many speculate that the backlash from the online mobs and the timing of his retirement can’t be coincidental.
It’s a sad day to be sure. Cawthon’s creation was brilliant but now he will always be tied to his politics, an issue he always kept out of his games and even his interactions with people. It’s disgusting that these mobs who claim to be fighting in the name of tolerance and equality have no desire to be tolerant of any ideological positioning other than their own, and go as far as to threaten innocent people with harm for mere disagreement. They consider disagreement with them to be evil and justify their own evil against others off of that excuse.
Still, here we see another example of a good person being bullied off the stage by ignorant, intolerant people. While Cawthon said he’s retiring, my hope is that he’ll one day make a triumphant return and deny these bullies their victory.