Rooster Teeth is officially over cover image

Rooster Teeth is officially over

The worst news ever… of all time.

Rooster Teeth has officially been shut down by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. While the news is heartbreaking for fans of the company, it is also not unexpected. The company has floundered for years as their online audience shrunk and their content no longer had the chokehold on the internet that it did in the 2010s.

Why is Rooster Teeth shutting down?

According to the memo announcing the shutdown, Rooster Teeth is shutting down “due to challenges facing digital media resulting from fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and monetization across platforms, advertising, and patronage.” More simply put, Rooster Teeth no longer made profitable enough content for Warner Bros. and is being scrapped for parts.

Warner Bros. Discovery will now sell off the remaining Rooster Teeth IPs, like the massively popular RWBY, the long-running Red vs. Blue series, and Gen:Lock. Does anyone actually want to buy Gen:Lock?

Our legacy is not just a collection of content, but a history of pixels burned into our screens, minds, and hearts.

Jordan Levin, Rooster Teeth general manager

According to the report by Vanity, roughly 150 employees are being laid off due to Rooster Teeth’s closure.

Twenty-one years of Rooster Teeth history

Rooster Teeth began as a group of guys playing video games while drunk and trying to make money off of that. Five guys, Burnie Burns, Geoff Ramsey, Gustavo Sorola, Dan Godwin, and Jason Saldaña, created to try and receive free video games in exchange for reviews.

The company was wildly successful until, in 2014, it was bought by Fullscreen. After Rooster Teeth was bought out, a series of company mergers and buyouts ensued until eventually it was owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Another highlight of Rooster Teeth’s long history was RTX, the annual convention that took place in Austin, TX. Barbara Dunkelman later confirmed that RTX was never truly profitable for the company. However, it was a truly fun and unique experience for any fans who had the chance to attend.

Red vs. Blue

Red vs. Blue is what started it all for Rooster Teeth. It all began when the guys argued while gaming about whether the Warthog in Halo: Combat Evolved actually looked more like a puma, inspiring the creation of the Machinima show. The first episode was released on April 1, 2003 and immediately went viral. Red vs. Blue is the second longest-running animated web series, with 19 seasons since 2003. The series went through multiple stages, with arcs ranging from situational comedy gags to surprisingly touching stories about memory and grief. The final season will be titled Restoration and will be the last thing Rooster Teeth produces.

Sarge, Griff, and Simmons in Blood Gulch (Image via Rooster Teeth Animation on YouTube)
Sarge, Griff, and Simmons in Blood Gulch (Image via Rooster Teeth Animation on YouTube)

The company then changed their name from drunkgamers, which wasn’t very marketable, to Rooster Teeth. The name famously comes from the first Red vs. Blue trailer, which calls the narrator a “cock bite.” Red vs. Blue continued to create episodes, which evolved into season-long arcs, through the entire company’s existence.

Achievement Hunter

Rooster Teeth eventually began new series alongside Red vs. Blue, like The Strangerhood and AH Guides. AH Guides, of course, later became Achievement Hunter in 2008, founded by Geoff Ramsey and Jack Pattillo. Throughout 2011 to 2015, the Achievement Hunter channel grew and hired key members such as Gavin Free, Michael Jones, Ray Narvaez Jr., Ryan Haywood, Lindsay Jones, Jeremy Dooley, and Matt Bragg.

Geoff, Gavin, and Ray of Achievement Hunter in 2013 (Image via LetsPlay on YouTube)
Geoff, Gavin, and Ray of Achievement Hunter in 2013 (Image via LetsPlay on YouTube)

From 2013 to 2020, Achievement Hunter had a golden age of content, producing weekly Minecraft and GTA V Let’s Plays that regularly gained between 500,000 and 1 million views. The group had a fun and laidback comedy dynamic which resonated with fans. 

In early 2015, Ray Narvaez Jr. left to pursue a streaming career while Jeremy Dooley and Matt Bragg stepped up to main cast roles.

Gavin and Michael of Achievement Hunter in an episode of Immersion (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)
Gavin and Michael of Achievement Hunter in an episode of Immersion (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)

Much later in 2020, Ryan Haywood abruptly left the company after allegations of grooming fans came out en masse. Twitch later banned Haywood after he made an attempt at a streaming comeback.

Achievement Hunter officially shut down last October and rebranded into Dogbark, though most of the longtime members had long since moved on.


RWBY, the anime-inspired series created by Monty Oum, began in 2013. It found immediate success upon the release of the first trailers focused on each of the four main characters and became a flagship IP for Rooster Teeth. 

RWBY was the pet project of Monty Oum, who had worked on Red vs. Blue animations, and had wanted to create his own show for a long time. Monty helmed the first couple of seasons and his unique fight animations made the show iconic. 

Sadly, Monty Oum died in 2015 due to an allergic reaction. The show continued on without him, partially due to his own personal motto “Keep moving forward.” So far, RWBY has had nine seasons and multiple spin-offs, including one Japanese anime titled RWBY: Ice Queendom.

Ruby Rose in the first episode of RWBY (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)
Ruby Rose in the first episode of RWBY (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)

Controversies in Rooster Teeth

Rooster Teeth had its fair share of controversies throughout the years. As mentioned before, Ryan Haywood was the cause of a huge scandal. Rooster Teeth quickly removed him from the company while his former coworkers condemned his actions.

Additionally, in 2022, Rooster Teeth released an apology for “hateful and hurtful” conduct in the company after former employees wrote about their negative experiences. The conduct included lack of payment, bullying, harassment, and more on a company-wide level. 

The best of Rooster Teeth

Rooster Teeth created a lot of content over the course of its 21 years. Here are some of the funniest, iconic, and well-produced videos.

Rooster Teeth's Extra Life stream in 2015 (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)
Rooster Teeth's Extra Life stream in 2015 (Image via Rooster Teeth on YouTube)

The Angry Birds trailer

Years before there was an actual real Angry Birds movie, Rooster Teeth made a spoof trailer featuring an extremely dramatic military plot with cute bird puppets. The video got a huge boost when the actual Angry Birds movie came out. Currently, the video sits at 26 million views.

Immersion: Video game foods

For a short time, Rooster Teeth made a series called Immersion. This series tested theories from video games and other media, like how useful bananas really are in a go-kart race and how much better food makes you feel when you're low on health. The video game food episode is one of the best in the entire series.

Minecraft Let's Play: Edgar is the one in the hole

The long-running Minecraft Let’s Play joke that Ryan held a captive cow named Edgar in a hole came to a head when Michael seemingly secretly freed Edgar in the middle of an episode. But what he didn’t understand is that the individual cow does not matter because Edgar is the one in the hole.

RvB: The Reds and Blues against Agent Tex

One of the best fights of Red vs. Blue came in Season 8. In it, a uniquely-animated fight commenced with a high energy score. Some of the best quotes from the entire series came from this fight as well, including “Protect me, cone,” “Agent Tex is a bit of a badass,” and Tucker’s signature “Swish!”

Rooster Teeth facility tour

Co-founder Burnie Burns gave a tour of the Rooster Teeth office and slowly broke down over the course of the video. This video is a time capsule of Rooster Teeth in the early 2010s, featuring most of the early members and one of the first offices that Rooster Teeth used.

Funhaus Demo Disk: Scrobble

Every single episode of Demo Disk can make you cry laughing, but SCROBBLES is a highlight episode nonetheless. At around 8:40 in the original video, the Funhaus crew gets to the Scrobbles and their incredulous reactions are still funny almost a decade later. Really, what ARE Scrobbles?

Goodbye, Rooster Teeth

As a fan of Rooster Teeth since as long as I can remember, I’m very sad to see the company shut down. Though it isn’t unexpected, it is sad to finally see the end cap on something that has endured for almost my entire life. The years of fandom and memories wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Though the company was flawed, there are lots of fun things to remember and tons of videos to rewatch. 

Rooster Teeth has inspired countless people to pursue their passions, whether that be in animation, comedy, or playing video games drunk with friends. Now that it’s over, Rooster Teeth feels like something you’d say “you just had to be there” about. I sincerely hope that everyone facing layoffs because of Rooster Teeth’s shutdown finds a new job quickly and I hope for the best in their careers.

Thank you for the opportunity to grow up with this community. Twenty-one years is a good run for any company. But I do have one final question for you all.

Do you ever wonder why we’re here?