Sometimes, very small parts of a game can have a surprisingly large presence in the zeitgeist, like “press F to pay respects” from Call of Duty. One of these small but mighty memes is the “oof” sound from Roblox, which has been used in YouTube montages, TikToks, social media feuds, and frankly, any time you might want to say “oof.”
Kotaku provided some additional context on the copyright issues that led to the sound effect being pulled. Tommy Tallarico is the composer of the oof sound; Tallarico is a game composer and, more recently, the CEO of Intellivision. The oof sound comes from Messiah (2002) and was licensed to Roblox; anyone using it in their Roblox experiences would have to pay one dollar (or 100 Robux.)
Related to sounds, due to a licensing issue we have removed the “oof” sound from Roblox and have created a replacement default sound which launches today.
We plan to expand our Avatar Shop with a whole range of both old and new sounds in the future. More to come on this.
— Roblox (@Roblox) July 26, 2022
The new sound doesn’t have the same oomph to it, but it does get the idea of your character dying or taking damage across, so it seems suitable. It’s kind of a limp “dehhh” noise, which is definitely how I feel before I’ve had my coffee in the morning. For those who miss its predecessor, the ‘oof’ sound will likely live on in TikToks and YouTube videos, as part of the memetic quilt of the Internet.
Licensing agreements are a common problem for video game developers and publishers. For instance, the music in 2008’s Grand Theft Auto 4 was later revisited in 2018 by Rockstar. The soundtrack was pruned down as licenses expired. When a game-as-a-service lasts for years, occasional issues like this can crop up — and even teeny tiny clips can make a big difference to the game’s ardent fans.