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Scott Cawthon pulls FNAF World from Steam, apologizes for prematurely released game

Scott Cawthon apologizes for FNAF World's premature release, and decides to pull it off Steam with full refunds for anyone who bought the game.

Less than a week ago, Scott Cawthon surprised everyone by releasing FNAF World early. The next day, he apologized for the game being rushed, and that he had released the game without many important RPG features. Now, Cawthon faces the public once more to tell players that the game has officially been taken off the Steam service.

On the official FNAF 4 news board, Scott posted the following update:

"Hi everyone, I wanted to make a post about the fate of FNaF World. Even though the game had a "Very Positive" rating with 87%, I was not satisfied with the reviews and ratings it was getting.

For that reason, I've decided to remove the game from Steam. I've also asked Valve to make it so that the game can be refunded regardless of the amount of the time it has been owned, meaning that anyone can get a refund at any time. It may take them a while to set that up, but it will be in place soon.

I'm still going to work on FNaF World and polish it up. I'm busy creating a fully 3D overworld for the game. When I'm ready to update the game, I will replace the demo currently on GameJolt with the full game. From this point forward, the game will always be free.

I appreciate your support, and I encourage you all to refund your Steam game (even if you enjoyed the game), and download the new version when it becomes available on GameJolt."

- Scott Cawthon via Steam

A game developer with some integrity? That's a new one. That's right folks, Scott Cawthon removed the game because he felt as though the game was released prematurely. Not only that, but Cawthon has actually gone out of the way to set up a system with Valve that will allow players to get a full refund, regardless of their play time - and that's before mentioning that the game will now be re-released for free on GameJolt once completed. It almost sounds like something out of a fairy tale, but here it is in black and white.

But was it necessary?

Maybe, maybe not. While not everyone believes the game's removal was necessary, I for one believe it was to an extent. The gameplay footage I have seen on Twitch and various other video services was cringeworthy at times. The lack of on-screen information made the original Pokemon Red and Blue release look like the most informative RPG in history. I think Scott made the right move, seeing as attack information, and a sense of understanding what it is you are doing is crucial to any successful RPG.

As Scott stated, the game did not receive particularly poor reviews. However, he has admitted that the game itself is not his best work. While I am not a personal fan of the Five Nights at Freddy's series, I will admit that I am impressed by Cawthon's decision to work harder to improve the game as it shows character. It is an act of integrity that very few people would commit to.

Very rarely does a developer - no matter how big or small the company is - admit to their mistakes in releasing a game, and then offer refunds for the game. The last time this happened with a major video game publisher was the PC release of Arkham Knight, where unanimously negative reviews resulted in the game being pulled from Steam - and this was likely to avoid potential lawsuits against a widely popular title.

What do you guys think about FNAF World being pulled off Steam? Did you get a chance to play it before it was removed? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published Jan. 25th 2016
  • Jessa Rittenhouse
    Columnist
    I'm not a fan of the series and never have been, but I'd like to see more devs with the integrity to do this. It would be really nice if AAA devs and publishers thought like this, but you're always going to be far more likely to see it with indies, I'm sure. The reasons the big guys don't do it are understandable, I'm sure, but if cost is going to be too heavily impacted to recall a game they released too soon, you'd hope that they'd make more of an effort not to release it before it's ready.

    So yeah...bravo, Scott Cawthon for setting the example!
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    I think it's not just a personal thing for indie devs, but also because on the business side of things your image is everything. Bigger companies can hide behind their name, but when you're a solo or small business game developer your people can be targeted individually. As such, it's almost expected of them to get on the case.

    That said, the bigger companies really need to get their shite together. The quality of some game titles are really dropping *cough* Battlefront *cough*.
  • Jessa Rittenhouse
    Columnist
    Oh, it's absolutely an image thing. But I think it's one of those things that's so much more vital for indie devs because they're so small and don't have the big name and big budget to hide behind - so you're more likely to see this kind of move from them. And I totally agree that the big guys need to get back on the ball and start producing the content that made them so impressive before - because while some have shown promise again lately, others aren't looking so hot anymore (like Battlefront, as you said - that one's definitely looking to be a disappointment for a lot of folks).
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    It takes guts to own up to one's shortcomings. He's done good by himself and the fans here.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Oh, certainly. I mean, if he hadn't done this, I imagine a lot of people would've dropped the Cawthon name from memory. It's an act of good faith that he's decided to do this, and as much as I don't like using the words "owes the fans this", he does to an extent need to keep his fans happy since they basically turned a nobody into a rich man through the comically successful FNAF series.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    The success still boggles my mind...

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