Kid-game sensation Roblox’s meme-famous death sound, a distressing and guttural “oof,” will be temporarily removed from the game. Following a settlement with the sound’s creator, at the end of the month the “oof” will cost money to use in games created in Roblox, and a new default death sound will replace it.
(Correction, 7:45pm—A PR person from the Roblox Corporation reached out to clarify that only people creating games in Roblox will have to pay for the sound, not general players. They also clarified that the agreement reached was between Tallarico and the Roblox platform. We’ve corrected the article accordingly, and regret the error.)
As reported by VentureBeat, the “oof” was created by Tommy Tallarico, who is the current CEO of Intellivision Entertainment. The “oof” has spread widely through memes shared by Roblox’s millions of young fans, eventually coming to Tallarico’s attention. In 2019, Tallarico noticed the similarity of the sound with one he created in 2000 for a game called Messiah. As part of a deal between Tallarico and the Roblox Corporation, when the sound is reinstated in the game it will cost creators 100 Robux, or about $1, to get back. Tallarico will also develop other paid sounds for Roblox.
It’s understandable Tallarico might not have realized he created the sound almost two decades ago—he is one of the industry’s most prolific composers, founder of the Video Games Live concert series, and holds several video game music-related Guinness World Records, including for having worked on “the most commercially released video games.” Tallarico told the BBC, “It’s amazing to think that such a small sound I did over 20 years ago for a different video game ended up being one of the most iconic pop-culture audio clips of the 21st century...I would hear kids saying it on playgrounds and didn’t even realize that they were repeating something I had created over two decades ago.”
Roblox creators who don’t buy the sound won’t have players dying in silence; a Roblox rep told the BBC that “we will replace the platform’s default ‘game over’ sound effect with a new audio track later this month.”