Who owns FNAF now? Scott Cawthon has yet to name a successor for his game series

By Sonam Peldon — ON Jan 30, 2022
FNAF
Screenshot: Steel Wool Studios

Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF)’, the brainchild of game developer Scott Cawthon, is probably one of the most well-known game series in the world. What initially began as a horror-themed video game has gained widespread popularity among players and has now even generated a media franchise.

After Cawthon decided to resign from game development in mid-2021, he assured the devoted fanbase that the FNAF series would be handed over to “someone of [his] choosing” whom he could trust. While some speculate if Steel Wool Studios have been handed the reins, there is no official confirmation as to who would take over from Cawthon.

Scott Cawthon’s successor for the FNAF franchise has not been announced since he stepped down in June 2021

Scott Cawthon

On 17th June 2021, Scott Cawthon, the creator of the FNAF series, announced his retirement on the Scott Games website. Polygon reports that he wrote;

“I’ve had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career. 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.”

This is following a controversy over his political beliefs after it emerged that he had made donations to Republication politicians and organizations. Cawthon further wrote;

“But here on the seventh anniversary of the first game’s trailer, as I realize that I was in my mid-30s when I created the series and now I’m approaching my mid-40s, I realize that I miss a lot of things that I got to focus on before FNAF became such a success. I miss doing it just for fun, and I miss making RPGs even though I stink at it. All of this is to say that I am retiring.”

Moreover, he acknowledged and thanked the LGBTQ+ community of the fanbase in response to assumptions and backlash he received for his support of conservative politicians.

However, amid conjectures that his retirement is due to him being ‘canceled’ by social media, Cawthon wrote that he means to “focus his attention on his six kids”. It has now been seven months since Cawthon retired from the franchise, and he has not officially announced a successor to take over the FNAF series.

“Is this the end of FNAF? No. 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,” He reassured the fans.

FNAF’s collaboration with Steel Wool Studios and speculations of ownership transfer

FNAF

From 2014 to 2018, Scott Cawthon has been developing and publishing the FNAF game series independently. Nonetheless, for the development of “Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted”, Cawthon consulted the Steel Wool Studios to recreate the game in virtual reality (VR).

It was reported that Cawthon went with Steel Wool because he had been impressed with the few virtual reality games created by them. Describing the process of game development, Rodney Brett, who is a character artist at Steel Wool, told Variety;

“[Scott] wants us to make another ‘Five Nights’ hopefully with us in the future. I’m not sure if he wants to do another VR game though.”

Following the launch of “Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted” in May 2019, the CEO and co-founder of Steel Wool Studios, Andrew Dayton, told Gaming Trend;

“[Scott] is what every indie game developer should strive to be. Passionate, creative, intuitive to his audience. He really cares about the fandom to his core and is an inspiration for us.”

Well, a few months after Cawthon’s retirement, Steel Wool Studios would also go on to develop and launch “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach” on 16th December 2021. Despite the initial bug issues present in the game, it was voted the best new game at Player’s Choice in December 2021.

In a post-launch announcement by Ray McCaffrey, Executive Producer of the Steel Wool Studios, the bug issues were addressed and he further wrote on their website;

“We are in it for the long haul when it comes to Security Breach. This game has a bright future ahead of it.”

Although there are plausible rumors about Steel Wool Studios now owning Five Nights at Freddy’s, the reports remain unconfirmed as an official announcement has yet to be made.

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