Scott Cawthon, the man behind the horrific animatronic scare series Five Nights at Freddy’s (which I think is up to its twentieth iteration now), has been doing well for himself. In addition to the recently released and well-received Five Nights at Freddy’s IV, Gil Kenan (of the Poltergeist remake and the rather unfortunate City of Ember) has been selected as the director for the upcoming film adaptation of the first game. Cawthon’s games are deeply divisive with vocal supporters and detractors —given its cheap scare tactics and relatively unimpressive visuals — and he’s clearly feeling a little hard done by all the hateful criticism of his success.
In an affecting post on the Five Nights at Freddy’s IV‘s Steam community page, Cawthon explains that he’s extremely grateful for his run of success in the past year, highlighting that before the windfall, he was working for Target and Dollar General, relatively low-budget stores in the USA. “I haven’t had a successful life; and now that God has blessed me with some success, I’m doing my best to be responsible with that success. I don’t party on weekends, I don’t get drunk or sip martinis. I spend my evenings playing Megaman 3, buster only, with my kids. And I try to do good with what’s been given to me.”
He stresses that his games are imperfect and that he’s not without flaws, but feels that many of his detractors are upset solely because of his success. “‘Haters gonna hate.’ –as they say, but I want you to know that focusing on someone else’s failure or success is the wrong way to live. People who make videos bashing other people are like people who run into a public square and scream into a pillow. They’ll get attention, but they won’t change anything. If you strive to be like them, then you’ll spend your life screaming into a pillow as well, and your life won’t mean anything.”
He encourages people to create and not focus on criticising the success of others. “People who hate success will never be successful. Focus on your success, and your story. People always ask me what college I recommend, or what programs I recommend. My answer is to just go forward, practice. Just GET to college, study hard, be awesome at what you do. Make sure that you are next year’s big success story. Don’t fall into the pit of people who have given up on making something of themselves, and make sure you make EVERYTHING out of yourself.”
“Don’t fall in with the people who have already given up on themselves. You are tomorrow’s next big thing.”