Indie game developer Scott Cawthon declared he was done with his enormously successful Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) franchise after the release of Five Nights at Freddy's 4 last summer (excepting the series' spin-off RPG, FNAF World, which is currently being retooled). But much like the grime that collects at the baseboard of a Chuck E Cheese's arcade game, the Five Nights at Freddy's series is apparently sticking around for a while.
This particular FNAF title doesn't have a number taped to its rear, however. Instead, it has a subtitle: "Sister Location." As the teaser on Scott Cawthon's main site reminds us, there never was just one.
This is true. Previous games FNAF games have made mention of Freddy Fazbear Pizza's "sister location," and fans have spent hours speculating about whether or not certain games have occurred in said sister location. One thing's for sure: We're visiting the sister location this time, and at least one horrifying animatronic is waiting for us, as per usual.
It's hard to make out what the animatronic is -- all we have to go on is an unsettling outline displayed on the teaser image linked above -- though some fans speculate it's a hellishly twisted take on Fisher-Price's famous Chatter Phone. The Chatter Phone was in the background of Five Nights at Freddy's 4, and the games take place across the '80s, so it's not an outlandish guess.
(Did you know Fisher-Price still makes and sells the Chatter Phone, rotary and all?)
Sister Location's reveal prompted a big reaction, and not just from FNAF fans. The franchise, as well as Scott Cawthon himself, has attracted a huge array of haters. The first game's popularity with YouTubers hasn't earned it many fans amongst more traditional gamers, whereas others believe Scott has milked the franchise dry by releasing four games in the space of a year.
The FNAF series certainly isn't above criticism, though it's unfair to call the games copy-paste jobs: Scott makes new character models and environments for each title. He also adds twists to each game's survival-horror element, like having to rely on your sense of hearing to stay safe in FNAF 4.
Scott promises Sister Location is much different from his previous works and is full of surprises, so he's probably taken some of his critics' words to heart. Either way, he's determined not to let his haters get him down.
"Don't feel bad about anything," he said in the Steam community for FNAF 4. "I'm here for the fans and supporters of the franchise. Haters gonna hate. It doesn't bother me, so don't let it bother you."
However you feel about the FNAF series, attacking Scott Cawthon over its existence is mean-spirited. No game creator deserves to have hate heaped on them because you believe there's no justification for their game's popularity, but Scott has been unfailingly supportive towards the general gaming community. He gives shout-outs to other indie projects, he encourages his fans to be kind towards each other, and he makes sizeable donations to charity streams, including $250,000 to St Jude's Children's Hospital in March 2015, and over $50,000 to the June 2015 Zeldathon.
Scott Cawthon exudes a patient kindness that's all-too-rare in the games industry these days. However you feel about his work, or even the (oft-impassioned) fandom he's created, there's no call to lob attacks directly at him. The nice thing about video games is that there are thousands of them across a multitude of systems, and you don't have to even look in the direction of FNAF if you'd rather not.