Composer Mick Gordon (Doom 2016, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus) has posted a long article detailing the production problems of the Doom Eternal soundtrack.
The article is written in response to the open letter may 2020 written by Marty Stratton, head of id Software studio and executive producer of Doom Eternal.
Stratton indicated on Reddit that Gordon would no longer be working on Doom as he had not been able to produce the OST (i.e. adapting the game’s dynamic music to a traditional album) in time and had broken the studio’s trust.
Gordon says that Stratton offered him “a six-figure amount” to keep quiet, but that post has caused him personal and work damage, so he has preferred to refute it point by point after a few months trying to negotiate with Bethesda and id Software.
As he indicates, the production was a disaster from the beginning, demanding virtually impossible deadlines that led him to crunch throughout the development of Doom Eternal. It should be remembered that Gordon is self-employed, not an employee of id or Bethesda.
The first months were characterized by having to write music for levels that were not yet defined, which led to the discarding of a large part of the soundtrack. At least officially, since it claims that id ended up using some of those discards without paying for them (the soundtrack was charged per minute of finished music).
To the crunch were added the problems of the original soundtrack. During E3 2019 Marty Stratton announced that Doom Eternal would include a digital copy of Mick Gordon’s Doom Eternal OST, but id had not contacted Gordon to offer him a contract to work on the creation of that album.
The times that Stratton proposed were, according to Gordon, impossible to manage. Furthermore, the producer veiledly threatened Gordon with a lawsuit if the OST was not made in time for the game’s release, since protection laws would enable consumers to demand returns of the game if the album (as we have indicated, part of the special edition of Doom Eternal) was not available as the company’s announcements promised.
They ultimately opted to make a cut-down 12-track soundtrack, but Gordon’s surprise was to discover that id Software had already been working on an alternative soundtrack for months without his input. The final soundtrack would include both Gordon’s songs and those of this internal OST, from which Gordon has distanced himself because of its poor quality.
Gordon also complains that in the credits of said soundtrack, Chad Mossholder of id Software, the person in charge of editing at id Software, appears as a co-composer. In his opinion, the fans who have uploaded the game’s soundtrack by recording the Wwise output of the music have done a better job of capturing the music.
Following the release of Stratton’s open letter, this entire matter was turned over to attorneys on both sides. Gordon claims that he has been trying for months to reach an amicable agreement with Bethesda that should in all cases include a rectification or removal of the original message, but Stratton has flatly refused.
For this reason he has taken the decision to publish his own open letter, accompanied by screenshots of emails to disprove Stratton’s original claims.
At the time of this writing, no response communications have been issued from Zenimax, Bethesda, or id Software.
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Composer Mick Gordon details Doom Eternal soundtrack production issues and points out id Software’s bad practices
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