Freddy’s impact

A look into the impact FNAF has had on gaming and pop culture and a review of the latest game


Photo by Allyson Smith


Story by Zoe Rushing, Advertising Editor

On Aug. 8, 2014, Scott Cawthon released a brand new indie horror survival game titled Five Nights at Freddy’s. In the first game, players played as Mike Schmidt, the new night security guard, at a restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Players are guided by the man over the phone as they are hunted by the killer animatronics of the pizzeria. 

With a limited battery, players have to learn to control the cameras and doors strategically and survive through the night to advance to the fifth and final night. The game provided a fearful and tense atmosphere that quickly hooked players to the game, and the popularity continued to rise with gaming creators such as Markiplier, MatPat and Dawko bringing light to the game with playthroughs and theories. 

The success of the first game would lead Cawthon to continue the saga with eight main games and six spinoff games. However, the franchise didn’t just stop there, as of now in 2022, there are also over 12 books and graphic novels that explore the lore and storyline of the game. 

All of this work would be published in only a span of eight years, with a game being released almost every year since the initial release and the books and comics being placed as filler when a new game was in production. This steady flow of work kept its intended audience constantly interested in the franchise and waiting for the next release. The game’s content gradually grew up with its audience as well with gameplay becoming more mature and gory with each release.  

With more games and books being released, Cawthon began to write a story for his games centered usually around the Afton family. The newer games would become more plot driven, usually with an Afton as a main character, and every new release would bring new aspects to the gameplay.  

The new formula didn’t always work out in the audience’s favor with the game’s timeline and story getting mixed and remaining inconsistent throughout the entire series, even to this day and sometimes new features not being well-liked. However, this did lead to the rise of fan theories that kept audiences intrigued with the game and helped keep players’ interest consistent.

This would also become a formula for a new style for horror games by mixing horror game techniques with a vague yet complex storyline that made the games interesting and thought provoking even without having to play the game. This formula would start to appear more often with the releases of games like Fran Bow and Sally face, both story-driven horror games. 

In August of 2019, a trailer for a new FNAF game was released titled Security Breach which was set to be released in December of 2021. Fans were overjoyed with the news that a new game would join the already impressively sized franchize. Fans urgently sought out the game that quickly received mixed reviews. 

The largest game in the series and the furthest from the original template of FNAF 1, Security Breach was buggy with a confusing and anticlimactic storyline that left many players disappointed. Despite the failings of the game, it brought a resurgence of popularity to fans who were nostalgic for the series and with the entertaining commentary of the game by online creators it managed to do well enough. 

These games had a hold on many young players and their attention for over eight years and has had a strong influence on popular horror games to this day. The popularity of the game has only grown from the games original debut and with the creation of a fnaf live series coming, the love of this franchise will most likely remain.