The latest installment in the Five Nights At Freddy’s series, Five Nights At Freddy’s: Security Breach, was revealed during the PlayStation 5 Showcase. While many series fans are ecstatic about this news, players that aren’t too familiar may be surprised to see FNAF still going. Five Nights At Freddy’s has been a successful horror franchise for years, and has even spun off into other mediums such as books, and a live action film that’s currently still in development. But where did this popularity come from? How did such a simple game become such big, on-going hit?

The Five Nights At Freddy’s series was created by Scott Cawthon, an experienced game designer and 3D animator. The first game in the FNAF franchise released in 2014, and established many trends that became mainstays for the rest of the series. Each game puts the player working a night shift at a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza establishment; a fictional family restaurant similar to a Chuck E. Cheese. The player receives vague and increasingly ominous instructions from a mystery voice over a phone. Players must spend the night using the location’s security system to protect themselves from possessed, flesh-hungry animatronic mascot characters. Keep the animatronics away from the office long enough, and players will survive the night shift.

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Five Nights At Freddy’s is a series that is easy to pick up and play, but tough to master. The premise is basic enough that even novice video game players can easily recognize each game’s objective. The series has unique gameplay that puts a big focus on a player awareness and understanding of each animatronic’s attributes. Gameplay is very similar to Sega CD classic game Night Trap; players must watch various security cameras simultaneously, and plan out the use of the office defenses to keep out approaching animatronics. Failing to keep out the animatronic results in receiving a jump scare sequence and a game over. The gameplay is simple, but the looming fear of making a mistake, and the eerie designs of the locale and characters, makes playing each FNAF game a truly tense experience.

FNAF Is Simple Horror With Mass Appeal

It is the simplicity of the concept that helped give the series popularity. Like many horror games, Five Nights At Freddy’s is a fun experience even from a backseat perspective. Five Nights At Freddy’s became a huge hit through online videos and livestreams; it was practically tailor-made for that kind of exposure. The simple gameplay, lack of a direct storyline, and short playtime of each installment was all somewhat deliberate to help the game become an online phenomenon. Just like horror classic Amnesia, Five Nights At Freddy’s is an iconic series for horror game content creators.

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Series creator Scott Cawthon took a unique approach to the series’ online presence and added in a secret, underlying storyline to the series. A basic understanding of the series storyline can be taken in simply by playing the games, but diving deeper into the franchise’s various releases across all of its covered mediums unravels a deep storyline that greatly adds to the game’s context. The true storyline reveals itself through elaborate in-game easter eggs, subminimal messages in video game trailers, and subtle hints in the series spin-off books. Fans are always formulating new theories, and everyone in the online community is working together to uncover the true, mind-bending mysteries hidden throughout the Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise.

The Five Nights At Freddy’s series has been going strong for over 5 years now, and the quality of the games and depth of their lore continues to grow. The series started small but exploded in popularity thanks to online attention. Fans of the series remain engaged to see how the mysterious storyline will progress, and the general audience is waiting for some new, quick horror experiences to share with others. Now a major multi-media franchise, Five Nights At Freddy’s provides some dark and fun horror anyone can enjoy.

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