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Five Nights at Freddy's

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Five Nights at Freddy's
Five Nights at Freddy's logo.png
Genre(s)Survival horror
Creator(s)Scott Cawthon
Platform(s)
First releaseFive Nights at Freddy's
August 8, 2014
Latest releaseFive Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery
November 25, 2019

Five Nights at Freddy's is an American indie video game series and media franchise created by Scott Cawthon. The series began with the eponymous game developed and published by Cawthon for Microsoft Windows in 2014. This was followed by eight sequels released for Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Nintendo Switch. The series is centered on the fictional Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a pastiche of pizza restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza Place.

The series consists of nine games. In the first three games, the player controls a nighttime security guard who must utilize security cameras and other tools to survive against animatronic characters which become mobile and homicidal after-hours. The fourth game takes place in the house of a child who must defend against nightmarish versions of the animatronics. The fifth game is set in a maintenance facility owned by a sister company of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where the player character is a technician who must complete different tasks each night. In the sixth game, the player assumes the role of a new owner of the pizzeria. The seventh game allows the player to alter the difficulty settings of fifty antagonists from the previous games. The eighth game features virtual reality gameplay, and focuses on a series of minigames based on previous entries in the franchise. The ninth game features location-based augmented reality gameplay.

The series has been popular since the release of the first game and is known for its fandom. The success of the video games led to the publication of several books, including three novels, a guide book, an activity book, and an anthology series. A film adaptation is also planned. Merchandise for the games has been produced, and a horror attraction based on the series was featured in the Adventuredome for Halloween 2016. The series appeared in the Guinness Book of Records: Gamer's Edition, setting a record for the largest number of sequels released in a year.

History and development

Release timeline
2014Five Nights at Freddy's
Five Nights at Freddy's 2
2015Five Nights at Freddy's 3
Five Nights at Freddy's 4
Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes
2016FNaF World
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
2017Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones
Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator
2018Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet
Ultimate Custom Night
2019Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted
Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #1: Into the Pit
2020Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #3: 1:35AM
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #4: Step Closer
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #5: Bunny Call
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #6: Blackbird
2021Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #7: The Cliffs
Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #8: Gumdrop Angel
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #9: The Puppet Carver
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #10: Friendly Face
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #11

The idea for Five Nights at Freddy's stemmed from negative reaction to Scott Cawthon's previous game, the family-friendly Chipper & Sons Lumber Co.. Players said that the main character (a young beaver) looked like "a scary animatronic animal", and reviewer Jim Sterling called the game (unintentionally) "terrifying".[1][2] Initially discouraged by the criticism, Cawthon (who had previously primarily developed Christian-oriented games) eventually used the feedback to make something intentionally scarier.[1]

The first Five Nights at Freddy's game was released via Desura on August 8, 2014. On August 20, after it was approved by the service's crowdsourcing platform Greenlight, Five Nights at Freddy's was also released on Steam.[3] The sequels were released on November 10, 2014, March 2, 2015, July 23, 2015, October 7, 2016, and December 4, 2017, respectively. A spin-off from the series (FNaF World) was announced in a Steam post by Cawthon in September 2015,[4] and was released in January 2016. Cawthon releases most pictorial teasers for his games on his website, Scott Games,[5][6] and teaser trailers on his YouTube channel.[7]

He used Clickteam Fusion 2.5 to create the Five Nights at Freddy's games and Autodesk 3ds Max to model and render the games' 3D graphics.[8] To enhance Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, and Ultimate Custom Night. Cawthon used professional voice actors.[9] He announced that all titles would be remade by third-party companies for release on consoles.[10]

Cawthon posted on his website in 2015 that he planned to publish his first novel (Five Nights at Freddy's: The Untold Story) in the near future, with its canon separate from that of the games. The novel was later renamed Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes.[11] On June 20, 2016, Scholastic announced that it would collaborate with Cawthon on a multi-book deal.[12] Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes was released on December 17, 2015 on Amazon Kindle;[13] the paperback version was published on September 27, 2016, slightly earlier than its original October publication date.[14] A second novel (Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones) was published on June 27, 2017,[15] followed by Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet on June 26, 2018.[16]

Gameplay

The main Five Nights at Freddy's series consists of horror-themed video games in which the player is usually a night-time employee at a location connected with Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a fictional children's restaurant that took inspiration from family pizza chains like Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza.[17] The restaurant has life-size animatronic characters that perform at children's parties. The animatronics wander the restaurant at night and the guard is instructed to watch over them. To progress through the games, the player must guard themselves against animatronics with a variety of tools. In the first game, the player can control the two security doors connecting their office to the adjacent hallways as a barrier against animatronics in the vicinity. Each night, the player has a power supply that depletes faster when a tool is used.[18] Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has different tools; the protective doors are absent, and the player must instead use an empty Freddy Fazbear head and flashlight to defend themselves with against the animatronics.[19] The game introduced a music box which must be remotely wound up on a regular basis to prevent an attack by a particular animatronic.[19] 8-bit minigames were introduced, which can be played randomly after death.[19]

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 uses a monitor panel, which contains audio, camera, and ventilation.[20] The player must keep certain systems from malfunctioning. These malfunctions can be triggered randomly or by the hallucinations of past iterations of the animatronics.[21] The ability to seal vents is also added, and must be used to prevent the sole tangible animatronic from entering the office.[21] The player can use an audio-based function on the cameras, which triggers a childlike voice to lure the animatronic away from the office.[21] The 8-bit minigames return and are activated by completing side tasks such as clicking on a poster or inputting a code into a wall. If the player completes the minigames, they unlock a secret ending.[22] In Five Nights at Freddy's 4, the gameplay occurs in a bedroom setting, and instead of being a night guard, the player takes the role of a small child.[23] The player also no longer has access to a camera system.[24][25] The player has four areas in the bedroom to monitor: two hallway doors on both sides of the room, the closet directly in front of them, and the bed behind them.[23] The player must listen for the animatronics' breathing, which can determine whether they are they near.[24] If the player hears breathing at the side doors, they close the door and wait for the animatronics to walk away.[24] If they close the doors too early, however, the animatronics jump scare the player when the door is opened.[24] Five Nights at Freddy's 4 introduces a new minigame involving a new animatronic, Plushtrap, which offers the player a two hour skip in the next night for completing the minigame.[23]

An elevated control pad is introduced for Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, which can light a room or shock the animatronics.[26] Other mechanics include a second control pad in the breaker room which controls power to the facility and a flash beacon, which allows the player to see in the dark Funtime Auditorium and avoid its animatronic.[26] Sister Location is the only game where the player can move between rooms.[26] Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator has business-style gameplay, and the player must spend in-game money to buy features for the pizzeria.[27] A series of minigames can be played by testing the establishment's attractions.[27] After the player has completed this portion of the game, they complete tasks in a room and fend off hostile, previously-salvaged animatronics.[28] The gameplay of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator shares a number of elements with Five Nights at Freddy's 3, including the importance of ventilation and the ability to distract the animatronics with sound.[29] Ultimate Custom Night is a customizable night, in which 50 animatronics are present and have a maximum AI level of 20.[30] The game includes many mechanics from the previous games, such as the heater, fan, music box, and power generator.[30]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted combines the gameplay of every other games, and turns into a virtual experience for the player.[31] It also introduces several other minigames, in which the gameplay is variant, and also at times has free-roam.[32] Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery's features location-based augmented reality gameplay.[33] The player can switch on their camera, and the footage itself will be the game's background. The animatronics will try to attack corresponding to the environment.[33] The animatronics generally have cloaking, which leads them to being invisible.[33]

Common elements

Closings

In the first three main games, the player's location closes shortly after the game ends; in the first game, the location is said to close by the year's end due to a "tragedy that took place there many years ago".[34] The Five Nights at Freddy's 2 location closes due to malfunctioning animatronics,[34] and Five Nights at Freddy's 3's location closes after a fire.[35] Circus Baby's Pizza World is closed before Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location begins, apparently due to a gas leak.[36]

Doors and vents

Doors and vents are a common feature in all of the games. The first and fourth games have doors to be closed when an animatronic is near. Doors are also present in the fake ending and custom night DLC of the fifth game with the same function. Vents are featured in the second, third, and sixth games, as a medium through which animatronics can get to the player. They are also present in the fifth game as the primary means of transport for the player.

Easter eggs

Almost every game in the series contains some Easter eggs and rare screens, some of which point to the lore. They are often presented as hallucinations, with some examples including the "It's Me!" phrase in the first game, Shadow Freddy in the second, rare William Afton's corpse screens in the third, various random items appearing near the bed in the fourth, rare blueprints in the fifth, and rare back alley screens of animatronics in the sixth.

Jump scares

Jump scares are in all of the series' main games when any animatronic reach (and attack) the player.[37] In most jump scares, an animatronic character suddenly appears in the player's view followed by a loud bellow. Some jump scares, including those by Golden Freddy (in the first game), Nightmare, and Nightmarionne, consist of a single screen with shrill, distorted audio; these jump scares usually crash (or restart) the game. The player can use tools to prevent attacks (and jump scares).[38]

Lights

Lights (including the flashlight and flash beacon) are found in all but Five Nights at Freddy's 3,. Although their use varies by game, lights are generally used to ward off animatronics or warn the player. Lights in the first and second games are activated with buttons on the walls and illuminate the player's blind spots: the doorway or vent exit, respectively.[39] The lights are similar in the fifth game, but are mounted on a control pad and illuminate the animatronics' rooms. The flashlight in the second game has a finite battery life, but is infinite in the fourth game, and must be switched on or off.[40] The flash beacon, introduced in the fifth game, is used to orient the player in the third and fifth nights' pitch-black rooms.[41] The flashlight is also used in the sixth game, but it is automatically turned on when the player looks at the vents, and has unlimited power.

Minigames

"Happiest Day" minigame from Five Nights at Freddy's 3

In all games except Five Nights at Freddy's, Ultimate Custom Night, and Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery, the player gains access to a series of (predominantly eight-bit) minigames—randomly after death, or after completing a specific task.[42] The minigames usually relate to a story or event relevant to the game, in a cryptic manner.[43] The minigames in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 reportedly portray previously-mentioned homicides, and the reason of the animatronics gaining life.[44] The minigames in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 show the story behind Springtrap's creation, and the Puppet's succeeded efforts of letting the children pass on to the afterlife. Minigames in Five Nights at Freddy's 4 tell the story of a character (possibly the player) who dies in a tragic accident.[43] There is only one minigame in Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, which depicts the story behind William Afton's daughter, the soul behind Circus Baby. The minigames in Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator depict various events in the franchise, all connected to Afton. Only in the mobile version of the seventh game, the player can access a minigame called "Princess Quest", which depicts the origins of Vanny in Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach.

Phone calls

In all the main games except Five Nights at Freddy's 4, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, and Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, the player receives a telephone voice message from a previous worker (or owner) of the location. The messages are a tutorial for the player, describing several gameplay mechanics and outlining the location's backstory.[34] In the first and second games, the voice in the messages is the same; in the third game, it has a California accent. Phone calls from the first game can be heard in Five Nights at Freddy's 4 as an Easter egg and ambiance.[45] The fifth and sixth games have AI voices which tutor the player. The sixth game also contains a tape recorder that guides the player through some gameplay mechanics.

Security cameras

All the main games except Five Nights at Freddy's 4, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, and Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery have a security-camera system, which observes the animatronic characters. One location can be viewed at a time, and some areas are not visible on the cameras.[39] Most camera feeds are dull, sometimes almost black and white in color, and full of video noise. In the third game, the cameras stop working if their associated system fails.[46] Cameras are used in the fifth game as a mechanic in the fake ending and custom night DLC, but not in the main game.

Characters

Humans

The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's is Mike Schmidt. [47] The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is Jeremy Fitzgerald. The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is unknown. The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is Evan Afton.[23] The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location and Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator is Michael Afton. The protagonist of Ultimate Custom Night is William Afton. The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted is Vanny. The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery is unknown. The protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is Gregory.

In the first two games, a man identified as Phone Guy leaves a recording at the beginning of each night which advises the player how to deal with the animatronics. Phone Guy is replaced in the third, fifth, and sixth games by Phone Dude, HandUnit, and Tutorial Unit respectively. The sixth game also introduces Cassette Man. Cassette Man's real name is Henry Emily. He was an old colleague of William Afton. He designed the labyrinth of vents to trap the final remaining animatronics and destroy them.

The children possessing the five standard animatronics are Gabriel, Jeremy, Susie, Fritz, and Cassidy, evident from both the novel series as well as a secret ending in the sixth game. The child possessing The Puppet is Charlie Emily, the daughter of Henry Emily. This event is shown in detail in various minigames. The names of the children possessing the Toy animatronics are unknown.

The series' main antagonist is William Afton, the founder of Afton Robotics, LLC and co-founder of Fazbear Entertainment, Inc. He was directly and indirectly responsible for numerous incidents and tragedies throughout the series. His role in the franchise's story is pivotal. [48]

Animatronics

Freddy Fazbear, the titular antagonist of the Five Nights at Freddy's series.

The first game has four main animatronics: Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. A secret fifth animatronic: Golden Freddy occasionally appears.[49] In the second game, Withered versions of the animatronics are present; along with their new Toy counterparts. Two new characters are introduced: Balloon Boy and The Puppet. Shadow Freddy and Shadow Bonnie rarely appear. When stared at for too long, they crash the game. Balloon Girl can also rarely be seen under the office table, posing no threat. [50] The only true animatronic present in the third game is Springtrap, who is a decayed version of Spring Bonnie. Some of the animatronics from the previous games, return as hallucinatory Phantoms, disturbing the gameplay and letting Springtrap end the night. Shadow Balloon Boy and Shadow Puppet appear in secret minigames. [51] In the fourth game, Nightmare versions of the animatronics are present, including Nightmare Fredbear, Nightmare, and Plushtrap. The game's Halloween edition introduces Jack-O-Bonnie, Jack-O-Chica, Nightmare Mangle, Nightmare Balloon Boy, and Nightmarionne.

In Sister Location, Funtime versions of Freddy and Foxy are present. Two new characters are introduced: Baby and Ballora; alongside the Bidybabs and the Minireenas. Baby, Ballora, Freddy, and Foxy amalgamate into Ennard at the end of the game. Dark Springtrap appears in the final cutscene. The non-canon Custom Night also introduces four characters: Yenndo, Bonnet, Lolbit, and Electrobab. In Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, only four animatronics are a threat to the player: Molten Freddy, Scraptrap, Scrap Baby, and Lefty. There are also other characters, but only for decorating.[52] These include Rockstar versions of the original cast, the Mediocre Melodies: Happy Frog, Mr. Hippo, Pigpatch, Nedd Bear, and Orville Elephant, and the Posh Pizzeria: Funtime Chica, Music Man, and El Chip. Ultimate Custom Night introduces Dee Dee and Shadow Dee Dee. Fredbear appears in his physical form.

In Help Wanted, Blacklight versions of the animatronics, alongside Shadow Foxy, Shadow Mangle, and Party Freddy are present in the Blacklight levels. Beacon Bonnie appears as an Easter Egg. Dreadbear and Grimm Foxy debut in Curse of Dreadbear. In Special Delivery, Holiday, Arcade, Wasteland, Heatwave, Circus, Forest, Winter, and Chocolate versions of the animatronics are present. In Security Breach, Glamrock versions of Freddy and Chica are present. Four new characters are introduced: Monty, Roxy, Moondrop, and Sundrop.

Games

Main series

Release timeline
2014Five Nights at Freddy's
Five Nights at Freddy's 2
2015Five Nights at Freddy's 3
Five Nights at Freddy's 4
2016FNaF World
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
2017Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator
2018Ultimate Custom Night
2019Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted
Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery
2020
2021Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Five Nights at Freddy's (2014)

After Scott Cawthon's previous game Chipper & Sons Lumber Co. was criticized for the unsettling appearance of its characters, Cawthon decided to use the ideas to create an intentionally-scary game: Five Nights at Freddy's. The game involves a character, later revealed as Mike Schmidt, who has begun working as a night security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where the animatronics move at night and kill anyone they see by stuffing them into a spare animatronic suit; this is apparently due to their misinterpretation of any human at night as a metal endoskeleton. Animatronic movement is explained to the player as a purposely-programmed "free-roaming" mode, to prevent animatronic servomotors from locking up. The player must survive from 12 am to 6 am. They cannot leave the room, and must use a camera system and two doors with lights to defend themselves from the animatronics, with only limited power. The hostility of the animatronics appears to result from the possession by the vengeful souls of children who were killed at the restaurant.[53] The player is guided by an entity known as Phone Guy, who assists them in their defense from the animatronics.[53] Mike is fired from his job after the seventh night for tampering with the animatronics, body odor and general un-professionalism.

Five Nights at Freddy's was released for Microsoft Windows on August 8, 2014, followed by ports for Android and iOS on August 27 and September 11, respectively. A Windows Phone version was also released,[54] but was soon withdrawn due to its downscaled graphics.[55] Ports for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch were released on November 29, 2019, alongside separate releases for Five Nights at Freddy's 2, 3 and 4.[56]

Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (2014)

Shortly after the release of the first game, Cawthon confirmed rumors about a sequel.[57] He posted a teaser of the sequel on his webpage one month after the original game's release, and continued to post teasers until the sequel's release.[58] A teaser trailer was released on October 21, 2014, introducing new animatronic characters and the absence of doors.[59] Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was released for Microsoft Windows on November 10, 2014, earlier than its planned release of December 25. Ports for Android and iOS were released on November 13 and 20 of that year. A Windows Phone port was also released, but was withdrawn for substandard graphics.[55] PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch console ports were released on November 29, 2019.[56]

Similar to the first game, Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is a survival horror video game with point-and-click elements. Players must survive a night shift at the new and improved Freddy Fazbear's Pizza restaurant (a pastiche of Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza Place) from 12 am to 6 am, without being attacked by any of the animatronics that wander from room to room.

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (2015)

In January 2015, an image was uploaded to Cawthon's website teasing a third entry in the series.[60] Other images followed[61] before a trailer was released on January 26, 2015. On February 15, Cawthon posted on Steam that Five Nights at Freddy's 3 was cancelled after a hacker allegedly leaked the game.[62] This was later revealed as a hoax; the "leaked" download linked to a humorous clone of Cawthon's previous game, There is No Pause Button![63] Five Nights at Freddy's 3 was released for Microsoft Windows on March 3, 2015, with Android and iOS ports following on March 7 and 12. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch console ports were released on November 29, 2019.[56]

Set thirty years after the events of the first game, its main character works at Fazbear's Fright: a horror attraction based on the long-gone Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.[64] The player must defend themselves from the deteriorated animatronic-costume hybrid named Springtrap.[64] Burnt and tattered hallucinations of some of the animatronics from the previous two games appear; although they cannot kill the player, they hinder ventilation, sound, and camera systems.[64] Failure to maintain the systems can create many issues for the player, including dysfunctional cameras and the inability to play audio to lure away the animatronic.[64] The player receives guidance from a founder of the horror attraction for the first two nights, and listens to old tape recordings which were found by the attraction's workers.[64] The game has two endings: a "good" ending and a "bad" ending.[22] The bad ending reveals that the souls of the murdered children still haunt the animatronics.[22] The good ending is reached by completing secret minigames in which animatronic characters bring a cake to what seems to be a sorrowful child's soul.[22] After completing the secret minigames, the souls of the children have been freed.[22]

Five Nights at Freddy's 4 (2015)

On April 27, 2015, Cawthon began posting images on his website teasing another game in the series which was originally known as Five Nights at Freddy's: The Final Chapter.[65] A trailer was released on July 13, 2015, hinting that the game was set in the main character's house.[66][67] Five Nights at Freddy's 4 was announced with a release date of October 31, 2015. It was pushed forward to August 8 and again to July 23, when the game was unexpectedly released on Microsoft Windows through Steam. Android and iOS ports were released on July 25 and August 3, 2015. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch console ports were released on November 29, 2019.[56]

The player character is a young boy, with delusions of being attacked by nightmarish versions of the original animatronic characters.[43] The player must defend themselves with a flashlight, doors, and hearing to locate the animatronics. The story of (possibly) the same young boy is told in minigames, in which he is bullied because of his irrational fear of a restaurant with a yellow animatronic bear and rabbit. He is guided by an animatronic plush toy, who speaks to the character when he is alone. The child is eventually killed by Fredbear, the bear animatronic, in a freak accident.[68] The game had Halloween-style DLC with "nightmare" versions of animatronics from Five Nights at Freddy's 2 and Halloween-themed reskins for Nightmare Bonnie and Nightmare Chica.[69]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (2016)

Cawthon posted a teaser image on his website in April 2016 of a clown-like animatronic named Circus Baby from an upcoming game, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location.[70] Several teaser images of different characters and hints at their origins followed.[71] The trailer for the game was released on Cawthon's YouTube channel, with new animatronics and a new location. The release date was announced as October 7, 2016. Cawthon made a prank release of the game on October 5, apparently releasing a "mature" edition after a decision to delay the game to make it more kid-friendly. The download link led to a clone of Cawthon's previous game, Sit 'N Survive.[72] Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location was released for Microsoft Windows on October 7, 2016, followed by ports for Android on December 22, 2016 and iOS on January 3, 2017. It was also released on Nintendo Switch in North America on June 18, 2020, and on Xbox One on July 10, 2020. The PlayStation 4 port was released in Europe and North America on July 21 and July 22, 2020, respectively.

The player character, apparently named Mike and jokingly called Eggs Benedict,[73] is a new employee of Circus Baby's Rentals and Entertainment (a sister company of Fazbear Entertainment which rents animatronics for children's parties). The animatronics were originally intended for Circus Baby's Pizza World, which never opened due to a gas leak.[36] Mike is guided by HandUnit, an AI character similar to the Phone Guy of previous games. HandUnit instructs him about his job, often telling him to disregard safety; the animatronic Circus Baby often gives instructions which contradict HandUnit's, and are vital to survival.

The game has "custom night" DLC,[74] in which the player can use mechanics reminiscent of the first game (such as interactive doors and a camera system) which were absent from the main game. New minigames are also available in the DLC, describing the fate of "Mike" after the events of Sister Location.[75] A cutscene is shown after the "Golden Freddy" custom-night preset, in which a character named "Michael" speaks to his father in a foreboding way.[76]

Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator (2017)

In June 2017, Cawthon hinted at the development of a sixth main game in the series. On July 2, 2017, he announced his decision to cancel the game and said that he had been "neglecting other things in [his] life for the sake of trying to keep up with mounting expectations".[77]

On December 4, 2017, after teasing the game several days earlier, Cawthon released Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator on Steam.[78] The game appears to be a business-simulation game in which the player plans (and runs) a pizzeria, but frequently shifts into the survival-horror vein of the series' other main games. The player may accept a corporate sponsor for the restaurant, but doing so causes loud video ads from the sponsor to play during the game's night shifts (making it difficult to hear approaching animatronics).[79] The player has the option of salvaging damaged animatronics from the previous games, increasing revenue and the possibility of being attacked during the night shifts.

Ultimate Custom Night (2018)

Ultimate Custom Night was released on June 27, 2018.[80][81] The customizable night contains a total of fifty animatronics from the game, which allows the player to determine how aggressive they are during the night (similar to the "custom nights" in earlier games). The player can select the office to play in, and has 16 themed game modes available.[82][83]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted (2019)

On August 18, 2018, Cawthon confirmed on his Steam thread that the next main installment in the Five Nights at Freddy's series would be available as a virtual reality game.[84] On March 25, 2019, during Sony Interactive Entertainment's State of Play live stream announcing several new games for the PlayStation 4, a trailer announcing the game was shown.[85] In the game, the player is a technician repairing a pizzeria's animatronics. From a first-person perspective, they fix the animatronics, solve puzzles and navigate dark hallways while avoiding malfunctioning (and hostile) animatronics.[86] The game was released on May 28, 2019. A non-VR version of the game was released on December 17, 2019 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery (2019)

An augmented reality game, Five Nights at Freddy's: Special Delivery, was announced on September 13, 2019.[87] The game was released for free on iOS and Android on November 25, 2019.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach (2021)

On August 8, 2019, during the first game's fifth anniversary, Cawthon posted a new image on his website, teasing a tenth installment for the series. It shows a modernized shopping mall containing a laser tag arena, an arcade, a large cinema and a Freddy Fazbear's Pizza restaurant; in the main square, '80s-style versions of Freddy Fazbear, Chica, and two completely new animatronics can be seen playing for an excited crowd. On September 29, 2019, Cawthon's website was updated with a new teaser featuring "Glamrock Freddy" and was followed by an updated teaser featuring the character Vanny from Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted as a shadow. On March 24, 2020, another teaser featuring a brand new alligator-like character was posted, later revealed to be called Montgomery Gator. On June 12, 2020, another teaser was released, featuring the game's protagonist, an unnamed female security guard. On August 7, 2020, a teaser of Vanny was released. One day later, Scott revealed the characters Glamrock Chica and Roxanne Wolf via Reddit.

On April 21, 2020, the characters' names were leaked from Funko's list of upcoming products and the title was revealed as Five Nights at Freddy's: Pizza Plex. A few hours later, on April 22, 2020, Scott Cawthon confirmed the leaks via Reddit and revealed that the title is not official and that the title is only for Funko. It is scheduled for an early 2021 release.[88]

On September 16, 2020, during a PlayStation 5 Showcase, it was revealed that Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach would come to PlayStation 5 featuring real time ray-tracing.[89] Its initial release will be on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC and will come to other platforms three months later.

Spin-offs

FNaF World (2016)

Cawthon announced a spin-off from his series, FNaF World, on September 15, 2015.[90] Unlike the main series, the game is a role-playing video game using the first four games' animatronic characters. The game is set in a fanciful world where the characters must fight enemies and progress by unlocking perks and items. Originally planned for release on February 2, 2016, Cawthon rescheduled the release for January 22 and released it a day earlier.[91]

Players and critics criticized the game for missing key features and being unstable and unfinished, for which Cawthon apologized: "I got too eager to show the things that were finished, that I neglected to pay attention to the things that weren't." He decided to remove it from Steam, saying that the game would be improved and later re-released free of charge.[92] Cawthon announced that he asked Valve to refund all purchasers the price of the game.

He released a free version of the game, featuring a 3D overworld and an updated character-selection screen, in February 2016. Cawthon posted a new teaser the following month, with characters such as the main series' Purple Guy and most of the characters from the Halloween update of Five Nights at Freddy's 4. He created minigames for the game's second update, including Foxy Fighters, FOXY.exe, Chica's Magic Rainbow and FNaF 57: Freddy In Space.[93]

Fazbear Fanverse (2020–present)

Cawthon announced in August 2020 his plan to help fund and publish Five Nights at Freddy's games developed by fans, bundled with previous installments in their respective series. He will not be involved in any of the creative elements, but will help with marketing and publishing support as well as appropriate licensing. The games included will be the entirety of the One Night at Flumpty's series (including the upcoming One Night at Flumpty's 3), most of the Five Nights at Candy's series (including Five Nights at Candy's 4 (working title), but excluding the original Five Nights at Candy's, instead replacing it with its 2019 remaster), The Joy of Creation: Ignited Collection (consisting of the original The Joy of Creation, The Joy of Creation: Reborn and The Joy of Creation: Story Mode), Popgoes Evergreen (including the prologue game Popgoes Arcade), and Five Nights at Freddy's Plus, a remake/re-imagining of the original game.[94] Cawthon also stated that these games will also likely come to mobile and consoles and may even have merchandise created for them.

The first game to be released under this initiative was a port of One Night at Flumpty's for Android and iOS on October 31 and November 18, 2020, respectively. The second game to be released was a port of its sequel One Night at Flumpty's 2 on January 20, 2021, again for Android and iOS.

Music

Ambient music for the first four Five Nights at Freddy's games is primarily stock music adapted by Cawthon.[8] Music includes the "Toreador Song" when the player runs out of power in the first game and "My Grandfather's Clock", played by the Puppet's music box as it winds down in Five Nights at Freddy's 2. FNaF World, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator and Ultimate Custom Night have soundtracks composed by Leon Riskin.[95]

Other media

Books

Release timeline
2015Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes
2016
2017Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones
2018Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet
2019Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #1: Into the Pit
2020Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #3: 1:35AM
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #4: Step Closer
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #5: Bunny Call
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #6: Blackbird
2021Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #7: The Cliffs
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #8: Gumdrop Angel
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #9: The Puppet Carver
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #10: Friendly Face
Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #11

Novels

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes (2015)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes is the first novel by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. It was published ahead of schedule on December 17, 2015 for the Amazon Kindle, after a paperback edition was published on September 27 of that year. The novel follows a group of childhood friends who meet in their hometown and discover unnerving secrets about the once-beloved Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.[96] According to Cawthon, the novel "expands the mythos and reveals a human element never before seen in the games". Although the novel inhabits the Five Nights at Freddy's universe, however, the book and the games are not "intended to fit together like two puzzle pieces".[97][98]

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones (2017)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones, the second novel by Cawthon and Breed-Wrisley,[99] is a sequel to Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes which was found on Amazon under Cawthon's name on January 8, 2017.[100] Although the discovery sparked controversy about the book's legitimacy,[101][failed verification] Cawthon soon confirmed that it was an official publication.[102][103] The novel (published on June 27, 2017) involves Charlie, the main character from The Silver Eyes, who is "drawn back into the world of her father's frightening creations" while trying to move on.[This quote needs a citation]

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet (2018)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet, the third novel by Cawthon and Breed-Wrisley, was published on June 26, 2018.[104] The novel focuses on Charlie's friends, who are searching for the truth behind what happened to Charlie in The Twisted Ones while mysterious events unfold after a new restaurant opens.[104]

Fazbear Frights

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #1: Into The Pit (2019)

Fazbear Frights #1: Into The Pit is the first book in the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on December 26, 2019 and contains three short stories: "Into the Pit", "To Be Beautiful", and "Count the Ways". "Into the Pit" is about a child named Oswald. He has no friend and finds himself being bored during the summer. He soon discovers something at a nearby pizzeria. "To Be Beautiful" is about a kid named Sarah, who wishes to be beautiful and finds an animatronic who can help her with that. "Count the Ways" is about a teenager named Millie, who accidentally gets trapped inside Funtime Freddy's body, and wishes to disappear off the earth.[105]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch (2020)

Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch is the second book in the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on March 3, 2020 and contains three short stories: "Fetch", "Lonely Freddy", and "Out of Stock". "Fetch" tells about a high schooler named Greg, who finds a strange animatronic, Fetch, in an abandoned Freddy's, and decides to test some controversial science he's been studying. "Lonely Freddy" shows a teenager named Alec trying to expose his sister to show her as a brat, while celebrating her birthday at Freddy's. "Out of Stock" is about a high schooler named Oscar, who gets a Plushtrap toy, but later understands its true colors.[106]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #3: 1:35AM (2020)

Fazbear Frights #3: 1:35AM is the third book in the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on May 5, 2020 and contains three short stories: "1:35AM", "Room for One More", and "The New Kid". "1:35AM" shows a recently divorced woman Delilah buying an Ella doll and using her as an alarm, but later throws her out, but is still tormented by the alarm. "Room for One More" is about a young man Stanley, working at the Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rentals. "The New Kid" is about Devon and his friend Mick, trying to teach the new kid a lesson as he tries to take his popularity.[107]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #4: Step Closer (2020)

Fazbear Frights #4: Step Closer is the fourth book in the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on July 7, 2020, and contains three short stories: "Step Closer", "Dance with Me", and "Coming Home". "Step Closer" follows Pete, trying to scare his younger brother with Foxy. "Dance with Me" shows Kasey, a thief, who, after stealing a pair of cardboard goggles, starts seeing Ballora. "Coming Home" is about Samantha, trying to help her dead sister, Susie.[108]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #5: Bunny Call (2020)

Fazbear Frights #5: Bunny Call is the fifth volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on September 1, 2020 and contains three short stories: "Bunny Call", "In the Flesh", and "The Man in Room 1280". "Bunny Call" includes a man named Bob, who orders for a Bunny Call to prank his family. "In the Flesh" follows a game developer named Matt, whose character he programmed starts to act strangely. "The Man in Room 1280" is about a priest named Arthur who visits a man in a hospital who is supposed to be dead, but still lives.[109]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #6: Blackbird (2020)

Fazbear Frights #6: Blackbird is the sixth volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It was released on December 29, 2020, and contains three short stories: "Blackbird", "The Real Jake", and "Hide and Seek". "Blackbird" features a man named Nole, who is tormented for his actions in the past. "The Real Jake" centres around the titular Jake, a dying child who finds solace in an animatronic made by his parents. "Hide and Seek" follows Toby, who accidentally unleashes a malevolent entity from an arcade game.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #7: The Cliffs (2021)

Fazbear Frights #7: The Cliffs is the upcoming seventh volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It will be released on March 2, 2021.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #8: Gumdrop Angel (2021)

Fazbear Frights #8: Gumdrop Angel is the upcoming eighth volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It will be released on May 4, 2021.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #9: The Puppet Carver (2021)

Fazbear Frights #9: The Puppet Carver is the upcoming ninth volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It will be released on July 6, 2021.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #10: Friendly Face (2021)

Fazbear Frights #10: Friendly Face is the upcoming tenth volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It will be released on September 7, 2021.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Fazbear Frights #11 (2021)

Fazbear Frights #11 is the upcoming eleventh volume of the Fazbear Frights series. It will be released on November 2, 2021.

Other

Guide

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Freddy Files is a guide book with character profiles and in-game mechanics which expands fan theories based on the games.[110][111][112] First published on August 29, 2017,[113] an updated edition was published on June 25, 2019.[114] An "ultimate" edition is set to release November 2, 2021.

Activity book

Five Nights at Freddy's: Survival Logbook is an activity book[115] which first appeared on Amazon in mid-2017 and was published on December 26 of that year. Unlike the previous books, Survival Logbook has no e-book edition.[116][117]

Film adaptation

Warner Bros. Pictures announced in April 2015 that it had acquired the series' film rights, with Roy Lee, David Katzenberg, and Seth Grahame-Smith scheduled to produce. Grahame-Smith said that they would collaborate with Cawthon "to make an insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable movie".[118] In July 2015, Gil Kenan signed to direct the adaptation and co-write it with Tyler Burton Smith.[119]

In January 2017, Cawthon said that due to "problems within the movie industry as a whole", the film "was met with several delays and roadblocks" and was "back at square one". He promised "to be involved with the movie from day one this time, and that's something extremely important to me. I want this movie to be something that I'm excited for the fanbase to see."[120][121] Cawthon tweeted a picture of Blumhouse Productions in March of that year, implying that the film had a new production company.[122][123] Producer Jason Blum confirmed the news two months later, saying that he was excited about working closely with Cawthon on the adaptation.[124] In June 2017, Kenan said that he was no longer directing the film after Warner Bros. Pictures' turnaround.[125] It was announced in February 2018 that Chris Columbus would direct and write the film, also producing it with Blum and Cawthon.[126] In August 2018, Cawthon announced that the script's first draft (involving the events of the first game) was completed and a second and third film were possible.[127] Later that month, Blum tweeted that the film was planned for a 2020 release.[128] However, a few months later, in November 2018, Cawthon announced that the film's script had been scrapped and it would be further delayed.[129] After almost two years without any subseqeunt announcements, Blum confirmed in June 2020 that the movie was still in active development,[130] which he reiterated in November 2020.[131]

On November 20, 2020, Cawthon announced in a Reddit post discussing the many scrapped screenplays for the film that filming for the Five Nights at Freddy's film, referring to its script as The "Mike" screenplay, would begin in spring 2021.[132]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Five Nights at Freddy's (PC) 78/100[133]
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (PC) 62/100[134]
Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (PC) 68/100[135]
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 (PC) 51/100[136]
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (PC) 62/100[137]
Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator (PC) 74/100 (user's score)
Ultimate Custom Night (PC) 80/100 (user's score)
Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted (PC) 81/100[138]
FNaF World (PC) 58/100 (user's score)

The first game was praised by critics. Joel Couture of Indie Game Magazine commended its artistic design, writing that "it's an incredibly terrifying experience to try to save yourself from the single jump scare that ends the game" and calling the game a "fantastic example of how cleverness in design and subtlety can be used to make an experience terrifying".[139] PC Gamer's Omri Petitte noted that players would probably be familiar with its setting, similar to restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese's. Although "the AI isn't some masterwork of procedural unpredictability, it would [still] head straight to you and eat your face off, or it'll play around like an innocent child before closing in for the kill. Your mind will fill in the rest."[140]

The second game received mixed to positive reviews. Petitte of PC Gamer wrote that what he had hoped for in the sequel "were more mind games and more uncertainty. I wanted the plodding animatronic suits to find me and rip my face off in new and interesting ways. I wanted working legs ... what I got was a horror game dipping heavily into deception and subtlety ... enjoying the good parts, though, comes with a cost of a frustratingly steep difficulty".[40] Nic Rowen of Destructoid gave the game a generally positive review, saying: "It's absolutely terrifying to know that you could be attacked at any moment from multiple avenues" and praising the new animatronics and mechanics, but criticizing its jump scares and calling the game "too hard for its own good".[141]

The third game received mostly mixed to positive reviews as well. A PC Gamer review said that although they enjoyed the reworked camera system, the animatronics' jump scares "felt a little stale by the third night" and became annoying.[142] A Destructoid review said that although Five Nights at Freddy's 3 was "by far the most technically proficient and mechanically satisfying installment yet", Fazbear's Fright and Springtrap "[lacked the] charm of the original cast and locations".[143]

The fourth game received more mixed reviews overall, with Destructoid criticizing the fourth game's excessively-loud jump scares and calling its breathing mechanic too difficult and confusing for players. A GameZebo reviewer, however, praised the game's intense environment, creepy sounds, and graphics, and jump scares.[144] A PC Gamer reviewer called it "another rivet in the series' steel-clad design which immortalized its Let's Play legacy in a few short months" and "certainly the scariest of the four [games]", criticizing its gameplay ("the humdrum repetition of the same sequence over and over ... is too much of a chore to fully pull me in") and the lack of the series' signature camera system.[145]

The fifth game, Sister Location, received more positive reviews than it's predecessor, with mostly mixed to positive reviews. Destructoid called the fifth game "slightly above average" and noted that "fans of the genre should enjoy this game, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled."[146] A GameCrate review said that "Sister Location is a fantastic horror game, even if it doesn't particularly feel like the rest of the FNaF series."[147]

The sixth game, Pizzeria Simulator, received mostly positive reviews, with GameCrate calling it a "must-play game for Five Nights at Freddy's fans" and the "best value in gaming right now".[148] Rock, Paper, Shotgun also gave the game a positive review, calling it "spooky as hell".[149]

The seventh game, Ultimate Custom Night received positive reviews. Dominic Tarason of Rock, Paper, Shotgun called the game "an intriguing mess",[150] and Shaun Prescott of PC Gamer described it "a neat, customisable take on the classic survival horror formula".[151]

Cultural impact

Fandom

A person in a fox costume from the series, with a mouthful of teeth
A Foxy cosplayer

Since the release of the first game, the games have become a popular topic of discussion by fans on social media platforms such as Reddit,[152] and are regularly featured on Let's Play videos. Popular video streamers, such as PewDiePie, Markiplier, and Jacksepticeye, helped the games receive additional attention with their playthroughs.[2][153] In May 2015, YouTube reported that playthroughs of the Five Nights at Freddy's series were the platform's eighth-most-watched playthroughs.[154] Although channels such as Game Theory occasionally feature Five Nights at Freddy's-related videos, they seldom provide gameplay footage and emphasize game discussion.[155]

A number of fangames have been inspired by the main-game mechanics of Five Nights at Freddy's.[156] Although the Five Nights at Freddy's fandom has been criticized for immaturity,[157] Cawthon defended them on Steam and criticized the broader community for what he called an unfair generalization.[158]

In September 2020, a meme featuring Jack Black dancing to the Five Nights at Freddy's theme music went viral on the social media platform TikTok.[159] Black previously appeared on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in April 2020 wearing a mask headpiece modeled after William Afton, where he revealed that he is a fan of the Five Nights at Freddy's series.[160]

Merchandise

Five Nights at Freddy's merchandise is primarily produced by two companies: Sanshee and Funko.[161] Products include stuffed toys, action figures, posters, clothing, keychains, and stationery.[162][163] McFarlane Toys also has a line of Five Nights at Freddy's merchandise, consisting mainly of construction sets;[164] Todd McFarlane called the line "the single largest selling product, bar none, by a lot that [he's] done in 20-plus years."[165] The merchandise, available internationally, has been a factor in the franchise's success.[166]

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External links