It’s not a joke, I swear!
Not many companies on the Internet last for 10 years, and even fewer have a start date on April Fools day, and yet April first will mark the 10-year anniversary of Rooster Teeth Productions. Rooster Teeth owns the popular web series “Red v. Blue” and is the parent company of Achievement Hunter, a video game guides and walkthrough website. Rooster Teeth specializes in Machinema, which is a combination of the words machine and cinema and is the act of filming within the confines of a video game.
The idea behind the business was to take a person in a video game and use them as a cameraman. They would record off of one screen and capture scenes between other characters in the multiplayer mode of the game “Halo: Combat Evolved.” The characters are then voiced over much like in animation afterward and everything is brought together to present a 10-minute show.
The company was born out of a defunct site called “Drunk Gamers” where four main creators of the site, Gustavo Sorola, Burnie Burns, Geoff Ramsey and Matt Hullum tried to get paid to get drunk and then review video games. After that site fell through Burnie had an idea for a new show he wanted to try, and he went to his fellow creators to help him out and record audio.
The show reached great popularity even before video sharing services like YouTube and Vimeo were created and the company was featured in tech and film magazines across America. In the beginnings however, there was a fan sponsor system where fans could donate money for premium access to the site. This was the only way that Rooster Teeth could sustain itself as a company.
Today, the company has its own convention, RTX, in the Austin Convention Center and has won multiple awards for both machinema and podcasting. Rooster Teeth has since created multiple web series and garnered a large collection of loyal fans numbering in the millions. Their YouTube channel hit one billion views a few months ago and their newest show RWBY will be premiered at their next convention in July of this year.
Achievement Hunter has grown as well in recent years after spinning off from Rooster Teeth, with every video getting upwards of three hundred thousand views. The site began as a bet between Burnie and Geoff of whether or not one of them could earn ten thousand Gamerscore through achievements in a week. The spirit of competition inspired the company to make achievement guides, and gameplay videos. Now the company is virtually a comedy channel on YouTube and widely successful.
I highly recommend checking out either site’s content if you like video games, or if you just like to laugh. You can see everything at RoosterTeeth.com and AchievementHunter.com.
By: Sean Burke