The Doom Eternal soundtrack scandal | Level Up

Bethesda posted its latest response to the scandal currently unfolding around the Bethesda soundtrack. Doom Eternal. For those of our readers who aren’t aware, currently a fierce conflict of statements dispute has involved Mick Gordon, an Australian composer with extensive experience in the industry, and id Software’s director, Marty Stratton. Specifically, in 2020, through an open letter on Reddit, Stratton accused Gordon of being responsible for the low final quality of the soundtrack of Doom Eternal; in response, Gordon made a lengthy comment on Medium.com, refuting Gordon’s allegations and offering ample evidence of the project’s chaos; Finally, Bethesda has reaffirmed her commitment to Stratton, without offering any further evidence in her latest statement. The scandal is the latest example in a series of workplace disputes that have rocked the video game industry this year.

What’s going on? Let’s recap. In 2020, Stratton posted an open letter on Reddit in which he responded to community concerns about the DOOM Eternal Soundtrack, the acclaimed sequel to the equally successful DOOM Eternal revival. DOOM which went on sale in 2016. Specifically, in his letter, Stratton accuses Mick of not meeting his work commitments on time, and of increasing the workload of music artist Chad Mossholder, who had to rebuild a large part of music from compressed fragments. The result was of less quality than promised. This letter on Reddit turned a part of the community against Gordon.

Much later, on November 9 of this year, Gordon posted a very detailed rebuttal on Media.com. In it, Gordon blames Stratton for impacting his professional life and reputation with his statements, for which he has been forced to refute his ex-project manager’s points. According to Gordon, Bethesda’s demands were impossible: they wanted music very close to the design of mechanics and maps long before they even existed, that is, the design philosophy of the project was contradictory, which directly caused toxic working conditions. dictated by Mick. In the end, according to Gordon, Bethesda would lie that he “didn’t like” half of the composer’s music, but he would end up using all of it, paying only half the price despite using said compositions for free.

However, the problem was made even worse by Stratton promising to release the soundtrack on a specific date without telling Gordon, who found out about it from the media. Gordon would sign the pledge anyway, because Bethesda assured him that the April 16 deadline was flexible, but was later assured by Stratton that the date was terminal and that the composer would be directly financially responsible for any refunds from the public. Also, Chad Mossholder was creating an alternative soundtrack under orders from Stratton, who gave him a time advantage over Gordon. However, Mossholder’s soundtrack was inferior. The result was chaos: between the lack of time and the poor work of Mossholder, the project ended up being a failure in terms of quality.

Who to believe? What do these scandals mean? Our subscribers will remember the recent controversy surrounding Bayonetta’s voice actress, Hellena Taylor. However, said scandal, which resulted in a temporary lynching of Hideki Kamiya by Twitter mobs, was easily cleared up by professional journalists. In other words, one should not rush to judge this type of situation, before all the facts are on the table. And yet, we must say that, in the case of the soundtrack of Doom Eternal, the accusations of Gordon, a proven talent, seem to make a lot of sense. On top of that, in this case, the harassment campaign started the other way around, because of the letter on Reddit from Marty Stratton.

Whatever the resolution of this conflict, it tells us about the labor crisis in the video game industry today. We’ve seen an economic crash in technology in recent months: Meta and Twitter have implemented huge cuts and numerous layoffs, while Amazon is doing the same right now. The motto seems to be: fewer people, more efficiency. In the case of Bethesda, it seems that the project manager, Stratton, tried to save costs at all costs, to the point of compromising the quality of the product. But the result is visible to all. In short, let’s hope that the crisis that is coming affects the quality of the new releases as little as possible, but, with precedents like this one or cyberpunk 2077such a hope seems unlikely.

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The Doom Eternal soundtrack scandal | Level Up


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