During PAX South over the past weekend, I had an opportunity to speak with Michael Hadwin, the Director of Games at Rooster Teeth. We discussed Rooster Teeth’s newly launched expansion into indie game publishing, as well as their recent release RWBY: Grimm Eclipse and their upcoming game Battlesloths 2025: The Great Pizza Wars.
We were joined by Phillip Johnson, Creative Director of Battlesloths 2025 and founder of the game studio Invisible Collective, and the game’s Executive Producer, Randy Greenback. I previously interviewed both Randy Greenback and Phillip Johnson before the Rooster Teeth announcement, which you can read here.
HorrorGeekLife: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me here at PAX South! The recent announcement has come out about the official launch of Rooster Teeth Games as a publisher. What is the company looking for in a game?
Michael Hadwin: For one, do we generally like it? Is it fun? Would our community enjoy it? Does it have some kind of multiplayer aspect to it? It’s not a definite, but we do love playing games together. A lot of our channels and streamers are about playing together, trash talking and all that. But, then again, you look at Funhaus and they play wacky little single-player games and make fun of each other. But that’s really it – does it feel like a Rooster Teeth game? Battlesloths 2025 does.
These guys, as you know, have done a great job promoting themselves, being social and they have a community. But, with us amplifying them and throwing fuel in the fire, those guys are going to rise way above where they would be by themselves. Other indies may not be very good at it. They may have a good game, but are more shy and we’re looking to help those folks.
We’re not doing this for a cash grab and we don’t have to do this. We have all of this influence in the industry and we have this great community, so why don’t we share some of these games that you would never hear about?
Randy Greenback: Battlesloths 2025 definitely has a hardcore community built up around the game; people who got into it through Humble Bundle. So, we’re bringing everybody along for the ride that we’ve collected on our bandwagon so far.
With Rooster Teeth, though, they’re like a force multiplier. They’re a huge company with a massive fanbase. These are our type of fans, people who would be into the game.
HorrorGeekLife: I have to agree that it is a great fit. Also, the new trailer that just launched with the announcement looks great!
Phillip Johnson: The trailer features our friend, Mikal kHill, doing a 2025 remix and if you go to Battlesloths.bandcamp.com, we have a GigaSingle you can download. You can pay what you want and there are five variations of the Battlesloths 2025 song.
HorrorGeekLife: As a fan of Mikal kHill, I’m excited to hear that. Is Rooster Teeth interested in expanding the Battlesloths 2025 universe beyond the game, such as merch?
Michael Hadwin: Merchandise specifically is a huge part of our business. We have all of these brands and shows that we make and fans want to wear something or have a toy that is related to that. We have a really awesome merch team. Something that is said that’s funny on one of our podcasts – within a week we have a shirt that’s made for it. Plushies and things like that take a little bit longer.
Battlesloths 2025: The Great Pizza Wars hits all of the check boxes for what is Rooster Teeth. It’s got humor, it’s wacky, it’s crazy, it’s unique, it’s full of action and it’s a party game, which means you play with your friends. In the beginning, we’re definitely going to have merch for this.
We’re all hoping it’s successful enough to go that next step, which is plushies, onsies, and all the crazy stuff. We would love to really lean into this game and do what we do at Rooster Teeth, and help them the same way.
HorrorGeekLife: Between this upcoming game and RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, I imagine your team has stayed pretty busy.
Michael Hadwin: Not only are we trying to help indies like Battlesloths 2025 through publishing, but we just launched RWBY on consoles, which is a pretty big deal for us. We’re this little team of five who pulled off the impossible making this game. We worked with a partner to help do the conversion. So, that’s pretty exciting for us right now.
HorrorGeekLife: And it seems to be doing great with fans.
Michael Hadwin: Yeah, it’s doing great and we love our fans. We want to think it’s not just our fans voting it up, we think it’s a great game. We’re going to continue to support RWBY and we have a couple of cosmetic DLCs that we’ll release soon.
HorrorGeekLife: Are there any other projects with Rooster Teeth Games that you can discuss at the moment?
Michael Hadwin: We have a new project that we can’t talk about, but maybe within the next few months we can talk about it. We’re really excited about that. Past that, we’re just looking to help games like Battlesloths 2025. But, we’re going to crawl before we walk before we run. We don’t want to rush into this. We’d rather work with these guys and give them all of the attention they need.
HorrorGeekLife: Like many people, I can’t wait to see what Rooster Teeth Games brings us in the near future! Thank you all for taking the time to talk with me!