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Roblox users borrowed its ubiquitous 'oof' sound from obscure action game Messiah

Messiah
(Image credit: Interplay)
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Roblox is a sandbox game creation tool that is apparently played by "over half" of kids in the US (opens in new tab). Like any massive platform for user-generated content, most of its users don't know (or don't care) about copyright, but it's still surprising that a sound from the obscure 2000 action game Messiah (opens in new tab) has managed to become one of Roblox's most iconic sounds.

The Roblox 'oof' can be sampled here (opens in new tab), while the original Messiah implementation can be heard here (opens in new tab). Yep, it's the same sound, and the creator of that sound, Intellivision Entertainment CEO Tommy Tallarico, happened to notice last year. (opens in new tab)

"It's an honor that something I created 20 years ago has become so iconic and a part of pop culture," he wrote on Twitter (opens in new tab). "I just need to be fairly compensated and I've never been cheap :)"

Over a year later, VentureBeat (opens in new tab) reports that the ensuing dispute is over, and it's bad news for the ongoing ubiquity of "oof". Soon the sound will be replaced by a new audio track, and using "oof" in a Roblox creation will cost a license fee of $1 (or 100 Robux). It's yet to be seen whether the userbase's fondness for "oof" will result in actual cash being paid out for its use. 

But wait, there's more: Tallarico, whose company will soon release the Intellivision Amico console, will be allowed to sell "oof" merchandise through Roblox's Amazon store. Not only that, but Tallarico has created four sound libraries (opens in new tab) for Roblox (they'll cost you between $10 and $250).

In other recent Roblox news, Lil Nas X is playing an in-game concert (opens in new tab) on Friday the 13th.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.