The Evolution of RTX
Edited by Matthew “Retrograder” VanDeZande and Natasha Hayes
Here at BIGBITE, we owe our existence to Rooster Teeth and the content they create. In the not-too-distant past, Rooster Teeth was a fledgling company just like us. But through utter stupidity, sheer dumb luck, some elbow grease, and perhaps a little headlight fluid, it has ended up amongst the most well-loved companies on the internet.
Recently we sent a couple of our BIGBITE brethren to Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX), to help promote our content and the work we are doing. But how does a company which started life in a bedroom end up running one of the world’s biggest annual gaming conventions? LET’S FIND OUT.
2011 – Better Get Yourself Tested
RTX started life as a “small get-together” back in 2011. Initially intended for just 250 Rooster Teeth community members, high-demand meant that over 500 tickets were accidentally sold just minutes after going on sale.
The event was deemed a test to see whether or not Rooster Teeth could realistically make a convention-style gathering work successfully. Attendees were given office tours, a free t-shirt, and even the opportunity to take part in the “Horde Mode”Immersion episode.
2012 – Growth Spurt
The second RTX was significantly larger than its predecessor. Held at The Austin Convention Centre and catering to over 4,500 Rooster Teeth fans, RTX took on a more conventional (hahaha) approach with an exhibit hall, exhibitor booths, and various panels.
343 Industries were also present, and they used the event to introduce the first-ever playable demo for Halo 4; they also introduced the games’ “Forge” mode, a series-staple since Halo 3 (2007).
2013 – Momentum
The serious momentum built by 2012’s RTX meant that tickets were hotter than ever for 2013’s event. The Austin Convention Centre once again became Rooster Teeth’s unofficial home as a 10,000-strong crowd took over the city.
343 were back again, this time announcing more downloadable content for Halo 4. Joining them were Ubisoft, who brought along the first playable Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag demo. Other activities included tryouts for Rooster Teeth’s gaming competition series The Gauntlet, an Oculus Rift VR booth, and the chance to feature in this Slow Mo Guys video:
YouTube gaming group The Creatures announced a brand-new team member and also revealed the mysterious sp00n’s secret identity.
2014 – Halo, Halo, Halo
The attendance record was once again obliterated, this time 30,000 fans packed into the convention which ran from July 4 to July 6.
343 went all-out at 2014’s event, revealing a boat-load of Halo related news. In addition to announcing the Gungoose’s addition to Halo 2: Anniversary, they revealed that Coagulation, a variant of the famous Blood Gulch map, would be among those reimagined for Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s multiplayer suite.
2015 – Triple Threat
While The Austin Convention Centre will always be RTX’s spiritual home, a huge crowd – over 60,000 strong – meant that The Hilton Austin Hotel and Austin JW Marriot were drafted in to help host the event.
The Rainbow Six Siege demo saw its first public outing; with attendees guaranteed access to its beta signups. The pre-alpha for Rooster Teeth’s own game, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, was also playable.
2016 – Down Under and Bigger Than Ever
Rooster Teeth went global at the start of this year with the cast and crew heading out to Sydney for the inaugural RTX Australia. Hosted in collaboration with Hanabee and Supanova Pop Culture Expo, the event saw 11,000 fans travel to the Australian Technology Park.
Its success has led to Rooster Teeth booking a return trip next year, and RTX Australia 2017 will take place on February 4 and 5 at the International Convention Centre Sydney. Burnie Burns, Gus Sorola, Kerry Shawcross, Miles Luna, Jack Patillo and Greg Miller have all announced their attendance.
The fact that Austin’s 2016 event ended just a few days ago probably means that most of you reading this are too hungover or travel-weary to even remember what happened … although who could forget that glorious Halo Wars 2 cinematic trailer?!
Rooster Teeth have confirmed that RTX will be back in Austin next year, running from July 7 – 9.