Rooster Teeth Shut Down After More Than Two Decades

Rooster Teeth Shut Down After More Than Two Decades

Rooster Teeth Shut Down After More Than Two Decades

Parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to close down Rooster Teeth, the unprofitable division focused on fandom, gaming, and comedy entertainment, after failing to find a buyer. General manager Jordan Levin made the announcement during a meeting with all staff members and in a memo distributed to employees. The closure of Rooster Teeth will result in the unfortunate layoffs of its approximately 150 full-time employees, as well as impacting contractors and content creators associated with the division.

Levin explained in the memo that the closure was due to challenges in the digital media industry caused by changes in consumer behavior and monetization across various platforms. Warner Bros. Discovery is in the process of negotiating the sale of specific Rooster Teeth content and intellectual property, including popular titles like "RWBY," "Red vs. Blue," and "Gen: Lock." The Roost podcast network, covering genres such as gaming, true crime, fandom, comedy, and food, will continue operating for now as discussions for its sale continue.

"Warner Bros. Discovery acknowledges the groundbreaking work of Rooster Teeth's creators, partners, and management team, thanking them for their years of success," the company stated. Rooster Teeth, founded in 2003, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year with new logos and the tagline "Just Playing." The company gained a dedicated fan base and became a prominent internet video platform before the rise of YouTube, especially with the success of "Red vs. Blue" in 2003, which popularized machinima.

Originally founded by Burnie Burns and others, Rooster Teeth went through different owners before becoming part of Warner Bros. Discovery in 2020. The company had previously been owned by Fullscreen and Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and Chernin Group. Despite achieving success with its First subscription video-on-demand service and merchandise sales, Rooster Teeth struggled to become profitable, operating at a loss for the last decade.

The company faced controversy in 2022 when former staff members accused it of harassment, underpayment, and marginalization, prompting Rooster Teeth to issue an apology. The planned 2024 fan convention has been canceled, as the company admitted it has never been profitable. Subscribers of the First service will be informed about its shutdown in the coming weeks.


Read Levin’s March 6 memo to staff about the company’s shutdown:

Dear Rooster Teeth,

Since our founders created and uploaded their first video on the then-called World Wide Web in 2003, Rooster Teeth has been a source of creativity, laughter, and lasting innovation in the wildly volatile media industry.

We’ve read the headlines about industry-wide layoffs and closures, and you’ve heard me give my perspective and updates on the rapidly changing state of media and entertainment during each of our monthly All Hands meetings.

Since inheriting ownership and control of Rooster Teeth from AT&T following its acquisition of TimeWarner, Warner Bros. Discovery continued its investment in our company, content and community. Now however, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that 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.

Please note that the Roost team is not currently impacted by this action. The Roost Podcast Network will continue operating and fulfilling its obligations while WBD evaluates outside interest in acquiring this growing asset.

In the coming days and weeks, we will have many questions to answer and the opportunity to work together to implement the best way to wind things down for us and our community. We’re working through what comes next in real time, and we will be as open, direct, and accessible as possible. Thank you all in advance for your patience and support of one another.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate our 21-year contribution to the zeitgeist, advancing creativity and outlasting many of our peers from the early days of online video and digital-first content.


From a garage in Buda, TX, to global screens large and small, our teams of dreamers and doers have introduced and grown what made Rooster Teeth stand out: animation, comedy, and gaming. From new forms of animated comedy with machinima to countless viral memes, including the Immortal Snail (aka Snail Assassin), to a US-born animated series embraced by Japan as anime, and record-breaking (at the time) crowdfunded movies. You’ve accomplished so much and made dreams come true here. You’ve turned original IP into video games, comic books, and VTubers. You’ve directed short videos, mo-cap, and films. You’ve puppeteered, hosted podcasts, and have built a thriving community that spans the globe. Your creativity knows no bounds, and you’ll continue contributing significantly to culture wherever your paths may take you.


Despite passing through many corporate owners, Rooster Teeth transcended a media business and was a dynamic movement that shaped the bond between communities, creators, and storytelling. Our founders didn’t have a blueprint for a media empire, but they got close to building one alongside a community that fueled its remarkable growth. In its earliest days, RT relied on community sponsorship through time, dollars, and unwavering passion. Volunteers evolved into staff, and the snowball effect grew, resulting in new relationships, marriages, births, and shared experiences that have changed lives.


Our approach to content creation on emerging platforms paved the way for new media models. We inspired generations of creators across streaming, machinima, animation, let’s plays, merch drops, touring, podcasting, and more. Companies like GameStop, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and TikTok asked us to collaborate with them in their earliest days because we set a standard for what a digital-first brand could be. We boldly took our content beyond screens and into community-driven experiences.


Every story reaches its final pages. Rooster Teeth’s closure isn’t merely an end; it reflects broader business dynamics. Monetization shifts, platform algorithms, advertising challenges, and the ebb and flow of patronage — all these converging factors have led to many closures in the industry. While we learn about updates on programming day by day, we will share our plans for shows, franchises, partnerships, and merch soon and share those updates with teams internally and with the community on


Though not intentional, it’s only appropriate that our last season of “Red vs. Blue” coincides with us navigating this closure together. Our legacy is not just a collection of content but a history of pixels burned into our screens, minds, and hearts. Rooster Teeth has made an indelible mark on the media industry, and we should be so proud of the countless ways we pioneered a business connecting creators and content with a dedicated community.

With respect, gratitude, and sincere appreciation,

Jordan Levin