The FNaF franchise has given me countless memories with my friends during my youth. I remember numerous times when my mother barged into our room because she heard us screaming our lungs out.
FNaF made me and my friends watched plenty of reaction videos from big-name YouTubers such as PewDiePie and Markiplier. We thought of making our reaction video and posting it on the website. We didn’t become big-time YouTubers, but I still think it is worth every second with your friends.
Over the years, the FNaF franchise has become an empire within the horror game genre. The FNaF games would not have been possible if not for one man: Scott Cawthorn. He is the man who is responsible for the creation of the franchise.
In this article, let’s dig deep into Scott’s early life, professional career, and post-retirement. Of course, we’ll explore how a simple game made him become one of the internet’s beloved game developers.
Bottom Line Up Front
Scott Cawthorn is a game developer, writer, and animator behind the FNaF franchise. He released the first FNaF game on August 8, 2014, which saw overwhelming success. After the first game, Scott began developing the sequel games.
On June 16, 2021, he announced that he would retire from game development to spend more time with his kids. Starting as an indie game developer, Scott left behind an empire that became a horror game icon for years to come.
Aside from the FNaF franchise, Scott also developed other games such as “Cropple,” “There is No Pause Button,” and “The Desolate Hope.” Unfortunately, he retired late last year with a whopping $70 million net worth.
- Full Name: Scott Braden Cawthon
- Date of Birth: June 4, 1978
- Nickname: Scott
- Place of Birth: Houston, Texas, U.S.A
- Height: 6’3
- Nationality: American
- Gender: Male
- Profession: Videogame Developer, Writer
- Net Worth: 70 million
- Social Media:
- FNaF– Nominated as Best Horror Video Game in iHorror (2014)
- FNaF: Help Wanted– Nominated for Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best AR/VR Game in New York Game Awards (2020)
- FNaF: Security Breach– Nominated and won Players’ Choice December (2021)
- FNaF: Silver Eyes– #1 Best Selling in YA Paperbacks in New York Times (2016)
Previous Games Prior FNaF
Scott’s career as a promising video game developer began in the 1990s. His first game is a point-and-click game called Doofas. Amazingly, he made it when he was just a child. The game centered around the title character, Doofus the Dinosaur, trying to stop Lord Grok’s attack on Dinosauria.
His first official game is RPG Max— he developed it in 2002. The game seems to let players make their own RPG, an advanced concept for his time. The game is sadly lost, and no one knows where to find it.
He made or helped develop several games before FNaF. Here’s a comprehensive list of the games:
- RPG Max
- Dank Knight
- Dino Stria
- Legacy of Flan
- Legacy of Flan 2: Flans Online
- Legacy of Flan 3: Storm of Hades
- Lost Island
- Mega Knight
- Phantom Core
- RPG Max 2
- Ships of Chaos
- Stellar Gun
- Junkyard Apocalypse
- Moon Minions
- Chup’s Quest
- Flanville 2
- Legend of White Whale
- Metroid: Ripped Worlds
- Bogart 2: Return of Bogart
- Legacy of the Flan 4: Flan Rising
- The Desolate Room
- Weird Colony
- Doomsday Picnic
- Slumberfish!: Catching Z’s
- The Powermon Adventure!
- 20 Useless Apps
- Aquatic Critters Slots
- Bad Waiter Tip Calculator
- Forever Quester
- Golden Galaxy
- Mafia! Slot Machine
- Pimp My Dungeon
- Platinum Slots Collection
- Scott’s Fantasy Slots
- Spooky Scan
- Vegas Fantasy Jackpot
- Vegas Fantasy Slots
- Vegas Wild Slots
- 8-Bit RPG Creator
- Bible Story Slots
- Chipper and Sons Lumber Co.
- Chubby Hurdles
- Dark Prisms
- Fighter Mage Bard
- Hawaiian Jackpots
- Jumbo Slots Collection
- Kitty in the Crowd
- Magnum Slots Collection
- Rage Quit
- Shell Shatter
- Sit ‘N Survive
- The Desolate Hope
- There Is No Pause Button!
- Use Holy Water!
- V.I.P. Woodland Casino
Scott would later join Hope Animations. The company is a collaboration of many Christian animators and programmers to spread the good news of Jesus and the Holy Scriptures. In Hope Animations, he developed games such as “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Noah’s ark,” and other Christian mediums.
He3 later developed games such as “Chipper and Sons Lumber Co.” and “the Desolate Hope.” Game reviewers heavily criticized his games, particularly “The Desolate Hope,” because the characters talk and act like machines.
Failures Become Opportunities
Scott was discouraged and was contemplating quitting video game development entirely. However, he would later prove that criticism and failure do not mean the end. He used the ‘animatronic-like’ movement as a basis for Five Nights at Freddy’s.
His experience in failure and criticism proved to be an invaluable lesson for all of us. Success will not happen overnight, and we will make mistakes along the way. We can only learn our strengths and weaknesses by committing these mistakes and rising above them.
His Big Break: the Creation of Five Nights at Freddy’s
Taking a Different Road
Scott’s career went from making children’s animated films about Jesus and the bible to developing a game about murdered children trapped inside animatronics hungry for revenge. Quite a leap for Scott.
He began developing Five Nights at Freddy’s using the criticisms he received from “The Desolate Hope.” He submitted the game to Steam which was released on August 8, 2014. It was also on IndieDB and Desure.
Scott chose animatronics as the basis of his horror game because he believed it was an untapped idea. He stated that every child is afraid of animatronics, so he used that fact to his advantage.
Development of Five Nights at Freddy’s
It took Scott six months to develop the game. His sons and close friends became the game’s beta testers. He said that one of his sons is obsessed with finding mysteries, while the other is good at finding exploits. The game quickly became popular. Many YouTubers began featuring Five Nights at Freddy’s in their Let’s Plays which garnered millions of views.
FNaF’s popularity was attributed to its simple gameplay, allowing greater access to plenty of people. Another appeal of the game is the profound lore surrounding the animatronics and the Pizzeria.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
Fans began anticipating the sequel to learn more about the game’s lore. Scott granted his fans’ wish and released Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 on November 2, 2014, just months after the first game’s release.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3
Another sequel, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, was released on March 2, 2015. The third installment features Scraptrap or William Afton as the main antagonist. William Afton is revealed to be the Purple Guy, a serial killer responsible for killing children in the series.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 was released on July 23, 2015, with a free Halloween update released on October 31, 2015. The fourth game explored William’s family and the Bite of 83, which was mentioned throughout the previous games.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location
The following year, Scott released Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location on October 7, 2016. Players have to go from room to room to deal with the animatronics, unlike being stuck in a chair in the previous games. The game’s plot revolves around Michael Afton, the son of William.
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator and Ultimate Custom Night
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator is a point-and-click business simulator released in December 2017. The game revolves around Michael and Henry conspiring to destroy the remaining hostile animatronics once and for all.
Ultimate Custom Night was supposedly an add-on to Fazbear’s Pizza Simulator, but Scott made it into a standalone game due to its sheer size. Many people began theorizing about how it fits in the canon. William Afton was in a purgatory-like state where his former victims tormented him.
Scott attempted to branch out from the main games and made FNaF World. The game is not a horror game but an RPG. Players can play their favorite animatronics in a grand adventure. Sadly, the reviews of FNaF world are mixed due to unfinished gameplay and bugs.
He agreed with the criticism and temporarily pulled the game from Steam, stating that the rough state of the game was unacceptable. He promised his fans refunds and patched the game further. The game would be released on Game Jolt for free.
He was dissatisfied with the game. He felt that making the game better would lead to him remaking it from scratch. He would eventually remove the game entirely from Steam in 2017.
Exploring Virtual Reality
In early 2019, Scott announced that he began teaming up with a small studio, Steel Wool Studios. The video game studio is in-charge ones who are going to be making future FNaF games.
In 2019, he released the franchise’s first-ever virtual reality game, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted. A DLC was later released known as Curse of Dreadbear on October 23, 2019. The game revolves around the company trying to improve its public image after a wave of lawsuits.
The same year, he also released the second virtual reality FNaF game, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Special Delivery. It has positive reviews. The critics praised the game’s combat, story, and voice acting.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach is probably the most ambitious game within the franchise. It was the very first FNaF game featuring a free-roam mechanic.
The game centers around a homeless child named Gregory, who must evade hostile animatronics. Gregory is not alone in his quest to escape the Pizzeria; the boy befriended Glamrock Freddy, the only animatronic whose programming was not altered. The pair worked together to find a way to escape and unravel the place’s mysteries.
Unlike the previous protagonists, Gregory has plenty of options for escaping the animatronics. Gregory can hide, use Freddy as a protective suit, and stun the animatronics. The game also saw the return of previous gameplays, such as the use of Security Cameras and lockable doors.
The game was released on December 16, 2021, and can be played on PC, Playstation 4 and 5, and Xbox One. The game was praised for its graphics and gameplay but was heavily criticized due to its many bugs. The game also has an upcoming DLC known as Ruin which is set to be released sometime around 2023.
Undoubtedly, Scott is a man full of talents. Aside from gaming, he is also a writer credited for his novels tied to the FNaF Franchise.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes
Scott’s first FNaF-related novel is Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes. The novel centers around Charlotte Emily trying to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of her twin brother Sammy.
Fans criticized the novel due to its inconsistencies with the game’s lore. He told his fans that the novels have a separate continuity from the games.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones
Scott published his second FNaF-related novel, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones, on June 27, 2017. The book serves as a direct sequel to his first novel. Charlie returns to her father’s business while trying to get over the past events.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Fourth Closet
The third and final book of the trilogy, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Fourth Closet, deals with uncovering the mystery of Charlie’s fate. The book was published on June 26, 2018.
He made a three-book deal with the Scholastic Corporation. The corporation is the largest distributor and publisher of children’s books.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Fazbear’s Fright Series
Scott co-authored Fazbear Fright alongside Andrea Waggener, Carly Anne West, and Kelly Parra. Fazbear Fright is a compilation of short stories relating to the FNaF universe.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Tales from the Pizzaplex
Scott also co-authored another anthology series called FNaF: Tales from the Pizzaplex. The anthology series features many different characters and locations from FNaF: Security Breach. The first book in this series is called Lally’s Game, published on July 19, 2022.
Five Nights at Freddy’s Graphic Novels
Scott’s previous FNaF novels were adapted into graphic novels. Released right after Christmas day of 2019, it garnered a huge following. The storyline was based on FNaF: The Silver Eyes.
FNaF: The Twisted Ones and FNaF: The Fourth Closet were also adapted into graphic novels, which were released on February 2, 2021, and December 28, 2021, respectively.
Involvement on Movies
Scott was involved in numerous films and animations before developing FNaF.
Birdvillage is a movie Scott made in 2001. The story focuses on a group of birds as they embark on their adventure. The film was divided into three segments with varying lengths; Beak’s Vacation, Beak’s Snowball Fight, and Second Nest.
A Mushsnail Tale
Scott’s next animated film is “A Mushsnail Tale,” which was released on August 12, 2003. The movie focuses on a group of friends as they traverse the lands of Mushsnail in their grand quest. He released a sequel called “The Return to Mushsnail: The Legend of The Snowmill” on December 28, 2004.
Noah’s Ark: Story of The Biblical Flood
Scott adapted Noah’s ark into an hour-long animated film. God ordered Noah to build a massive ark before a great flood swept over the world and purged the wickedness. The film is about hope, promises, and a new beginning for all Christian believers. The film was released on August 30, 2005.
A Christmas Journey: About the Blessings God Gives
The film follows two boys, Ian and Stephy, as they discover what Christmas is. The movie was released on October 20, 2006.
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The film is an adaptation of a 1678 novel of the same name. It is about a young man on a quest to seek out the Celestial City. The film was released on December 13, 2005.
After the film’s release, Scott developed and released a video game adaptation on June 13, 2011.
Bible Plays Series
The Bible Plays Series follows a group of students rehearsing for a stage play about bible stories. The children will learn about the importance of the stories as the series progresses.
Bible Plays: Noah’s Ark and Bible Plays: David and Goliath were released on June 8, 2010, and April 30, 2010, respectively.
The Jesus Kids’ Club Series
The story follows a group of kids as they try to make a difference in their neighborhood. The club is about helping the neighborhood deal with all sorts of issues by spreading the message of Jesus.
Potential FNaF Film
In 2015, Warner Bros. Studio announced they plan to make a Five Nights at Freddy’s film. They envisioned the movie as terrifying and adorable. Gil Kenan is set to direct the movie, and the script is being written by him and Tyler Burton Smith, with Scott collaborating in making the film.
Problems began to emerge in 2017. The film suffers from roadblocks and delays. He said he had to start all over again, but he promised he was still closely involved with film production.
The film went into the hands of Blumhouse production, which was revealed in one of Scott’s tweets. The film was supposed to be released in 2020, but the script was scrapped and delayed.
In 2020, Scott claimed that the screenplay was finished and was supposedly filming by the Spring of 2020. However, Blumhouse stated in 2021 that the script has numerous issues.
It is unknown if the planned film will continue after his retirement. Hopefully, someday we can see the movie in cinemas soon.
Scott posted his last message on Reddit, thanking his fans for their support. He shared on Reddit that he received boxes of fanart and fan letters that are piling up in his home. He is planning to make a massive compilation and turn it into a giant collage.
Despite retiring from mainstream game development, he mentioned that he will continue making games as a hobby and for his children to enjoy. More than that, he plans to make more RPG games even though he admitted that he is bad at it. To date, Scott has never shared any updates after his last post on Reddit.
One thing that made him a great game developer is his close interaction with the FNaF community. He was active on Reddit, posting his announcement and interacting with the fans.
This allows Scott to garner a large following and familiarity with what the community wants. Although he was not the first, he is a rare breed, considering how out of touch other developers were.
Scott is also known for creating Freddy in Space 2 for a fundraiser event for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Numerous famous YouTubers are tasked to find dollar amounts Scott will donate to the hospital. Despite Markiplier finding only around 450,000 dollars, he still donated half a million to the hospital.
Due to the current political climate, Scott is not immune from getting canceled. In 2021, he was canceled by Twitter after his political donations were trending. Most of his donations were given to Republican candidates such as Donald J. Trump.
Despite giving donations to Tulsi Gabbard, a democrat, Scott was still being harassed online. He was threatened with violence and even home invasion. The LGBT community was disappointed in him due to his political inclination.
The online harassment that Scott experienced ultimately led to his announcement that he was retiring from game development. He has already chosen a person to oversee future FNaF games. He messaged his fans, stating that he is grateful for their support and will continue to love the FNaF community.
Scott does not share any details or information regarding his family. But — we know that he has five children, and they are currently living in Salado, Texas. In 2021, he posted on Reddit that his wife was six weeks pregnant.
We still don’t have any information regarding Scott’s siblings and parents. He is extremely private about his personal life and rarely posts pictures of his family members. Maybe, he wants to protect them from public scrutiny.
Net Worth and Career Earnings
Scott’s net worth was valued at around $60 million in 2020 and grew to $70 million by 2022. He already earned money as an animator and video game developer before the FNaF was first released.
Most of his earnings were due to the success of the FNaF franchise. The games can be bought through Steam, Xbox, Playstation, and mobile stores. It was reported that he earned $20 million from selling FNaF games. Aside from that, he also acquired a considerable chunk of his earnings from merchandise, novels, and posters.
Interesting Facts about Scott Cawthorn
Scott Originally Envisioned Foxy as a Beaver
Scott has a hard time figuring out his fourth animatronic after Bonnie, Chika, and Freddy. He was initially going to choose a beaver, but he felt that it looked quite similar to Chipper from his previous game.
He also considered a wolf, but he eventually chose a fox, which is how eponymous with the character’s name. Interestingly, a wolf animatronic would appear in the novel FNaF: The Twisted Ones.
Scott Recommends Steam to Other Indie Authors
Scott said Steam is the best platform to release your game because PC releases have the best return on investment. However, you need to convince people to greenlight the game first. He also highlighted that the iOS platform is profitable, but the market is overcrowded.
The Lack of Gore in FNaF is Due to Christian Influence
A lot of players noticed that FNaF has little to no gore being shown despite being a horror game. Scott said in an interview that all of his video games would not contradict his faith—even FNaF.
He believed that playing games full of gore would entail a lack of faith. However, this does not mean that FNaF is entirely free of gore. There are plenty of child murders surrounding the game’s lore, and you can see a dismembered eyeball in one of the games over screens.
Scott Cawthorn Bio: FAQs
Question: What Tools Did Scott Use to Develop FNaF?
Answer: Scott has been using Auto Desk 3ds Max for his graphics, including FNaF. He programmed FNaF using Clickteam Fusion.
Although he considered Unity, he found it challenging to learn. Scott acknowledges Unity as a great program, but he is more comfortable with Clickteam Fusion since he has experience.
Question: Is Scott the Voice Actor for the Phone Guy?
Answer: Yes. Scott provided the voice of the Phone Guy, an unseen character who guides the player at the start of each night. He also had a cameo in the intro of FNaF: Help Wanted as the ‘Rogue Video Game Developer’ who is destroying Fazbear’s image.
Question: Which Animatronic is Scott Most Afraid of?
Answer: In one of Scott’s interviews, he considered Bonnie his scariest animatronic. He claimed that he had nightmares when programming the ai. Bonnie is also the first animatronic created by Scott.