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Rooster Teeth shutting down

Warner Bros. Discovery is shutting down its Rooster Teeth division, according to a Variety report.

The closure of the gaming and entertainment brand will result in layoffs for 150 full-time employees, with additional contractors and content creators losing a source of income as well.

The outlet obtained a memo sent to staff earlier today by Rooster Teeth general manager Jordan Levin, who attributed the closure to “challenges facing digital media resulting from fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and monetization across platforms, advertising, and patronage.”

Rooster Teeth started 21 years ago with the creation of Red vs. Blue, a comedic machinima web series made using Halo. Last year Rooster Teeth announced that the upcoming 19th season of Red vs. Blue would also be its last.

The company branched out well beyond Red vs. Blue over the years, producing the animated series RWBY, another animated series featuring Michael B. Jordan called gen:Lock, and a variety of podcasts, YouTube channels, film and game projects, and other work.

It was acquired by media network Fullscreen in 2014, and a chain of media consolidation eventually made it part of Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022.

Variety reports that Rooster Teeth had been running at a loss for at least ten years.

Rooster Teeth was the subject of a handful of scandals in recent years, with a pair of on-camera personalities fired after being accused of grooming fans and a former employee describing a culture of harassment and crunch over her nine years with the outfit.

Levin dismissed some of the former employee’s accusations as “past events” and said another issue – that the company did not pay employees for voiceover work – was not unpaid work but a perk of the job.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s The Roost podcast network is not being impacted by the Rooster Teeth closure, and the company is continuing a search for a buyer for that property.

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