Rooster Teeth Is Being Shut Down After More Than 20 Years of Content Creation and Controversies

Several public controversies and a shrinking audience base all led to Rooster Teeth's imminent end.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Mar. 7 2024, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

(l-r) Geoff Ramsey and Burnie Burns, two co-founders of Rooster Teeth in 2018
Source: Getty Images

When you think of the current internet culture of content creation, professional YouTubers, and playing video games for a living, you might think of Rooster Teeth. Having been originally founded on April 1, 2003, the company would essentially lay the groundwork for the kind of internet content from which people can now make a living. Their steady stream of episodic web series, Let's Plays, and news programs led them to become one of the most popular platforms on YouTube.

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In recent years, however, several controversies have come to light as disgruntled former employees came forward with the toxic culture within the offices. While company controversies are practically a dime a dozen, Rooster Teeth seems to be getting the short end of the stick in this particular scenario. What happened to Rooster Teeth as of 2024? The company will no longer be the same moving forward, and it may have been a long time coming.

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Rooster Teeth is being shut down after 21 years.

On March 6, 2024, it was announced that Rooster Teeth as a whole was being shut down by its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. The shutdown is expected to take place over the course of several months. This move will leave many of its ongoing projects such as the RWBY animated series in flux as measures are taken to shutter operations at the company.

In an official statement reported by outlets like Deadline, general manager Jordan Levin stated that the company was being shut down due to "challenges facing digital media resulting from fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and monetization across platforms, advertising, and patronage."

He continues, "While we learn about updates on programming day by day, we will share out plans for shows, franchises, partnerships, and merch soon and share those updates with teams internally and with the community on"

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Jordan refers to the ever-shifting landscape of internet platform algorithms, which has made it difficult for even long-standing professional content creators to gain a foothold with audiences without adhering to specific guidelines and trends. This shift has affected YouTubers, artists, and online news publications in vastly negative ways.

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It's easy and even morally justified to point fingers at the algorithm or even WBD as a whole, the latter of which has openly canceled several completed film projects and shows within the span of a year. But Rooster Teeth as a company has been no darling of the public either. Throughout the late 2010s and early 2020s, former employees have come forward about the toxic and harmful work environments they've faced while working there.

In October 2022, content creator Kdin Jenzen (she/they), said they'd been subject to harassment and transphobia throughout their decade of working for Rooster Teeth. She also referenced the company's unrelenting crunch culture in valuing content creation over employee well-being. Even within this shifting internet landscape, there were already plenty of things working against Rooster Teeth leading up to its shutdown.

As of this writing, WBD is already looking to sell many of Rooster Teeth's ongoing series. However, one of their longest-running shows, Red vs. Blue, will release its nineteenth and final season some time in 2024. The finale reportedly was not meant to coincide with Rooster Teeth's shutdown.

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