Rooster Teeth, the digital media company that brought machinima and some even say web series’ to the masses formed by three friends in an apartment 11 years ago has grown to employ nearly 70 staff.
Rooster Teeth, which produces digital content on a variety of online channels and has 14 million subscribers on its YouTube network, needed more space to hold its ever-growing creative staff and production facilities that are on par with major film and television companies. And after just recently announcing their new YouTube Channel The Know there was a real chance RT would have to look to Hollywood for the size of studio space it needed to pursue more ambitious projects.
But the company is staying in Austin now that it has signed a deal to move into one of the hangar spaces at Austin Studios, thanks in part to $200,000 in improvements paid for by the Austin Film Society that will have the company in the new space by mid-April.
“When we found Austin Studios and they had a space come available, it made sense for us,” said Matt Hullum, Rooster Teeth’s CEO. “It’s an entire campus there and they have resources we can take advantage of like casting companies, audio resources and camera rentals. It’s the best place possible for a company of our size.”
Rooster Teeth’s main income driver has been its flagship title The Popular Web Series Red Vs. Blue, a series of comedy shorts using characters from Halo. To date, the company has sold more than 1 million Red Vs. Blue DVDs along with other associated merchandise.
Its newest animated series is RWBY, which is an American take on the Japanese anime style of cartoons. Burnie said Rooster Teeth’s space limitations in recent years forced the company to take on projects that would work with the facilities it had available instead of pursuing those that offered the best growth prospects.
“We’d plan out or calendar for two to three years ahead based on the place we were in or what we could find available,” said Burnie, the company’s creative director. “The talent is here and now we’re able to take on other opportunities.”
With brand integration from companies such as Mountain Dew providing revenue and the company racking up 1 billion page views every six months, Burnie said Rooster Teeth could have 100 employees by this time next year. Such a large staff is needed because of a year-round production schedule to meet increasing demand for digital content.
“We’re making this move quickly because we’re not like a TV show where they have time off every year,” Burnie said. “We have to be able to turn off the lights in the old space and after a weekend turn the lights on in the new place and start working.”