As the old saying goes: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and I won't be fooled again*, or at least that's the version of the adage I thought of when I heard about the latest news coming out of the Five Nights at Freddy's community. The popular indie horror series' creator, Scott Cawthon, announced that his latest game - widely believed to be Five Nights at Freddy's 6 - has been cancelled. Unfortunately, he's said similar things before and now his fans don't believe him.
Cawthon teased the development of Five Nights at Freddy's 6 more than a year ago as part of an elaborate April Fool's joke. Since then Cawthon has been dropping various hints about the project. At least he was until Friday when Cawthon announced on Steam that he's done with making the mysterious game.
"For the last month or so I've been dropping hints about a new game; and it's true that I'd been working on one (call it FNaF 6 if you'd like.) But after forcing myself to keep working on it day after day, I realized something- I just don't want to work on this," wrote Cawthon who cited the intense pressure and expectations that come with releasing a new game.
"So, after giving this a lot of thought; I've decided that I'm going to stop working on it. I'm not going to reveal anything else about what the game was, and I've asked other people involved to never divulge anything either. It's just going to be talked about."
Cawthon makes it clear that he's not retiring from game development or even from the Five Nights franchise. Instead he says he wants to focus on games he actually enjoyed making like Foxy Fighters, a Five Nights at Freddy's minigame.
The problem is that Cawthon has done similar things in the past. He previously said that a Five Nights spinoff, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, would be delayed, but then announced that the delay wouldn't happen after all. Add that episode with Cawthon's penchant for elaborate teases and the fact he posted an update saying, "Yes, I need a break... No it's not a troll. (Would I ever troll you guys?)" and fans are having a hard time believing the indie dev.
The news of the cancellation on the Five Nights at Freddy's subreddit lit up with commenters posting their disbelief. The top comment even breaks down Cawthon's statement to explain how this too, is probably another elaborate joke somehow. So basically, even if Cawthon is serious, his fans are clearly wary of believing the dev, which both feeds into his persona but also makes parsing his official statements difficult.
It remains to be seen whether or not Cawthon will surprise release his cancelled game, or if he really is shifting focus to other projects.
*Not the actual saying. Thanks for this version though dubya.