Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC is an American video production company headquartered in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2003 by Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum, Geoff Ramsey, Jason Saldaña, Gus Sorola, and Joel Heyman, Rooster Teeth is a subsidiary of Otter Media, which is itself a subsidiary of WarnerMedia Commercial, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia.
,Rooster Teeth began with the production of Red vs. Blue, which premiered in April 2003 and is still in production, making it the longest-running episodic web series of all time. Due to server and web hosting costs, the founders created "Sponsorships" which is now known as "FIRST", a subscription to exclusive and earlier access to content and discounts on their merchandise store, among other benefits. The company later branched out into live-action shorts, series, comedy, Let's Play videos, and full animated productions. Other projects include reality shows, video game development, entertainment news programs, and podcasts. In 2015, Rooster Teeth released its feature-film debut Lazer Team, a science-fiction action comedy. The company hosts an annual convention, RTX, in several cities around the world.
,The company's videos are regularly released on its own website and app while podcasts and Let's Plays are still released on their YouTube channel as well. As of March 2019, Rooster Teeth's primary YouTube channel has 9.6 million subscribers and has over 5.8 billion video views. Including all of their other channels, they maintain over 45 million subscribers.
,While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum collaborated with actor Joel Heyman on a 1997 independent film called The Schedule. The film helped Hullum and Heyman to find work in Los Angeles, but otherwise had limited success. Working for a local company named Telenetwork, Burns later met Geoff Ramsey, Gustavo Sorola, Dan Godwin, and Jason Saldaña, and the five formed drunkgamers.com, a website where the five reviewed various video games while drunk. According to Ramsey, the group tried to receive free games to review, but "incurred the wrath" of several game developers in doing so.
,One of the non-gameplay videos that the drunkgamers crew created during this time was a live-action parody of the Apple Switch ad campaign. This video featured Sorola as the main actor, used Peter Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as background music, and focused on the lack of games available for the Apple Macintosh computer. Sorola and Burns said that the name change from 'Drunk Tank Podcast' to 'Rooster Teeth Podcast' was for the same reason that 'Drunk Gamers' was changed to 'Rooster Teeth': Nobody would give games or sponsor something with 'drunk' in the title "because it was so unprofessional." On settling on Rooster Teeth, Burns stated, "We named it something else to give people the idea that we were going to be doing more than that". The name "Rooster Teeth" is a euphemism for "cockbite", an insult from the original Red vs. Blue trailer that Burns described as a "touchstone for the audience".
,Among the company's core philosophies, Burns stated, "we only make content that we would want to see ... it comes from a very genuine space. I think that our audience appreciates that voice". As of 2017, production costs for an episode vary from $15,000 to $100,000.
,Rooster Teeth's business strategy is a hybrid model composed of subscriptions, preroll ads, YouTube preroll ads, licensed studio productions, branded merchandise, and annual live events.
,Rooster Teeth has attributed their success to maintaining their community site and was reluctant to join YouTube initially, stating they viewed them as a "competitor". In 2014, having signed a two-year lease, the entire company moved into Stage 5 at Austin Studios. In November 2014, Rooster Teeth was acquired by Fullscreen for an undisclosed amount. Rooster Teeth agreed to be bought to give itself "the resources and tools" needed to compete against other producers. Burns elaborated by saying they consider Netflix, HBO, and Amazon their current competition. On February 3, 2015, Burns confirmed that Rooster Teeth would be establishing an office in Los Angeles. These offices were used by a whole new division, Funhaus. The company released their feature film debut in 2015 with Lazer Team, a science fiction comedy.
,In 2016, Rooster Teeth hired three content executives to help with audience expansion: Luis Medina as Senior VP of Partnerships, Evan Bregman as Director of Programming and Ryan P. Hall as Head of Development. It was announced that Medina would co-manage the Let's Play family with Ramsey, including Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, and ScrewAttack, and manage partnerships with third-party brands such as Cow Chop and Kinda Funny. Bregman will be responsible for programming strategy and boosting growth across all platforms such as apps, the community site, YouTube, and Facebook. Hall will oversee Rooster Teeth's development slate and lead efforts to identify up-and-coming projects and talent.
,Each year, the company participates in Extra Life, a gaming-themed fundraiser with Rooster Teeth's proceeds going to Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. During their 2017 Extra Life stream, they raised a total of US$1,209,970.73. The 2018 Extra Life stream raised $1,417,288 for Extra Life and Dell Children's Medical Center. The 2019 Extra Life stream raised US$1,222,371.
,On January 26, 2018, Fullscreen President and former COO Ezra Cooperstein was appointed as President of Rooster Teeth.
,In May 2018, Rooster Teeth piloted five shows named Branded, Gorq's Quest, Achievement Haunter, Million Dollars, But ... Animated, and Rooster Teeth's Murder Room, and also announced Spikeface, a new 2D/dark comedy show to be coproduced with Rob McElhenney and his RCG Productions.
,In December 2018, Otter Media restructured Fullscreen, consolidating Rooster Teeth, along with Crunchyroll and VRV, under Ellation. The companies