Bilaal Masum / Edge Columnist
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror game series created by Scott Cawthon, and since the first installment in the series was created as an indie game in 2014 there have been 8 more games created, merchandise, and two book series. A movie and a triple-A video game are also currently in production with the help of Blumhouse Productions and Steel Wool Studios respectively. However, Scott Cawthon is looking to add even more to his franchise with the Fazbear Fanverse Initiative.
The Fazbear Fanverse Initiative is a program designed to give funding to a specific few of the many fan games created around Five Nights at Freddy’s to “give back to the developers, and hopefully bring new entries into those franchises as well!” Scott Cawthon will also be working to help create merchandise for these fangames and port the fangames to popular consoles and mobile devices, but will be staying away from the actual development of these fan games in order to maintain the fan game developers’ creative freedom.
This program was met with great approval and excitement when it was publicly revealed via a Reddit post by Scott Cawthon on August 21 2020, and news and new information continues to be put out by individual fan game developers working on their new games and in some cases, remakes of their old games, as time goes on. But does the Fazbear Fanverse Initiative really deserve all of its praise? Is it even a good move for the Five Nights at Freddy’s Franchise?
For one, being lenient with the IP of Five Nights at Freddy’s like this could result in many people who are not a part of the initiative think that they have an opportunity to create their own fan games using copyrighted materials that actually belong only to the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, and this could lead to many legal problems Scott Cawthon will have to deal with, ultimately creating more work for him as well as possible places where he will seem like a “bad guy” for having to shut down or limit fan projects.
These fangames could also tarnish the image of the series as a whole if the fan games are not as good as the mainline games, which they most likely will not be since Scott Cawthon will have no part in the actual development of the games.
These fangames could also change people’s perception of the mainline games in other ways than just making it seem like the Five Nights at Freddy’s Franchise is not of very good quality. Even though they are non-canon, the fangames can alter people’s perception of everything from the events that happen in the mainline games concerning lore, and even how scary the mainline games really are, as some games like Phisnom’s Five Nights at Freddy’s Plus aims to be a darker and more terrifying remake of the first Five Nights at Freddy’s game.
These changes in perception could be in ways that Scott Cawthon didn’t intend, and they could hinder the success of the mainline games as well as the creation of new mainline games.
The fangames hindering the success of the mainline games becomes an especially prominent problem when you consider that the fan games being created as part of Fazbear Fanverse Initiative are confirmed to be free on PC, whereas the vast majority of the mainline games cost money.
Lastly, with everything Scott Cawthon said he’s aiming to accomplish with this Fazbear Fanverse Initiative, this program will take a lot of money and time which can be draining and affect Scott Cawthon’s progress on his main projects like the new movie and triple A game.
So in short, even if the Fazbear Fanverse Initiative will bring more content to the Five Nights at Freddy’s series for fans to enjoy, it may not be a very good idea after all when one stops to think about the implications it could have on the series as a whole.