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Making games seems like a rough gig. Success is tough to come by, and when you do succeed, it paints a target on your back. But one game developer seems like he’s handling both success and hate gracefully.
Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon took to the Steam forums for his horror games (the fourth one is out now) to directly address his fans along with some people who seem to hate him. The programmer wrote a few hundred words as something of a response to the people who he says are directing vitriol toward him on “forums [and] on YouTube.” And while he acknowledges that haters are going to hate, he goes on to make a sound argument for why people should probably focus less on things they don’t like.
“It’s difficult when people seem to dislike you only because you’ve found success with something,” wrote Cawthon. “I think some people have this idea that I spend my days swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck and cranking out games with no effort — then laughing all the way to the bank. The reality is quite different, and I think that people who hate on me for being successful are misguided.”
The developer went into his personal history, and he revealed that he worked at the Dollar General in 2014. That’s a retail chain that sells most of its products for $1.
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“I worked as a cashier,” he wrote. “I had three bosses who were all still in high school. Before that, I worked at Target in the backroom freezer, unloading frozen foods. 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.”
Cawthon explained that he doesn’t go party on the weekends. Instead, he plays Mega Man 3 with his kids.
He then went on to hammer home his larger point.
“I guess the reason I’m telling you all of this is to make sure you know that I’m human,” wrote Cawthon. “I have a lot of flaws, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. My games aren’t perfect, and they never will be. But something more important that I want to convey to all of you, is that you should never listen to people who criticize success simply because it’s success.”
The Five Nights at Freddy’s creator said that he believes people should strive to have success and not demonize it.
“Criticisms of my games are fine, and a lot of times the criticism is valid,” he wrote. “But there are a lot of people out there who will hate anything that becomes popular just because it’s popular. And [they will] hate anyone who becomes successful, just because they are successful.
“I want you to know that focusing on someone else’s failure or success is the wrong way to live.”
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