Five Nights at Freddy's creator Scott Cawthon has announced he is retiring, just days after a controversy erupted over his past donations to Republican candidates, including Donald Trump.
Cawthon confirmed his decision in a statement shared to ScottGames.com, accompanied by Five Nights at Freddy's artwork drawn by an unnamed eight-year-old fan.
There's no mention of the controversy in his statement, save for a reference to him receiving support from the LGBTQ community - a nod to the recent criticism faced by him for supporting Republican candidates with broadly anti-LGBTQ stances.
"Here on the seventh anniversary of the first game's trailer," Cawthon wrote, "as I realise that I was in my mid-30s when I created the series and now I'm approaching my mid-40s, I realise that I miss a lot of things that I got to focus on before FNAF became such a success. 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. All of this 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. The kindness shown to me has been surreal."
As for Five Nights at Freddy's, Cawthon said the series would continue, and he would be working to "eventually" pass over the baton.
"Is this the end of FNAF? No." Cawthon continued. "This just means that someone else will eventually be running the show; someone of my choosing, and someone that I trust. We will have to wait and see how it all plays out, but an announcement will be made at some point."
Last weekend, Cawthon responded to the controversy at length on reddit to say he would not apologise for funding Republican candidates, but also could not ignore the fan backlash which had arisen from the donations becoming widely known about.
"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.
"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.
"If I get cancelled, then I get cancelled," Cawthon concluded. "I don't do this for the money anymore; I do it because I enjoy it. If people think I'm doing more harm than good now, then maybe it's better that I get cancelled and retire. I would accept that. I've had a fulfilling career. Besides, most things that people can take from you are things that never had much value to begin with."