The Mick Gordon soundtracks for Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal are massive draws for these titles, but the recent release of the OST for the latter has caused an upheaval recently which we now have official word on.
As a quick summary: in mid April publisher Bethesda released the Doom Eternal OST to owners of the collector’s edition of the game. A wider release was planned for later date but those with immediate access found problems with this version of the music.
Several people online speculated that Gordon, despite having made the music in the first place, had not been the one to handle the final mix and release of the tracks. This is something Gordon himself confirmed on Twitter and it set off a chain reaction of that sparked rumours, harassment and more around this apparent mistreatment of the music and a weakening relationship between the composer and developer id Software.
We are, of course, simplifying things here but it’s of lesser consequence as we now have clarity on the situation from Marty Stratton, an executive producer on Doom Eternal at id Software.
Stratton took to the Doom subreddit in a lengthy post as an open letter to the community. You can read that in full here.
We recommend reading through if you want to know the details about certain legal agreements, sound engineering, public communications and more, but we’ll summarise.
It seems Gordon was running behind in delivering the mixed music for the collector’s edition release, due to the large amount of work required taking game music and turning it into something that works without a game. This is important in Doom Eternal as the music is dynamic and changes according to what’s happening.
To address this id Software began work on an in-house mix. Gordon then supplied what work he had done and the two were combined into what has been released so far. The way Stratton explains the situation, Gordon and id Software were still on good terms despite some problems at this time.
Then the aforementioned Twitter post by Gordon was released and stuff got messy and further complications like composer co-credits made the situation worse. Because of this Stratton ends with the dour news that the pair will not be working together again:
“As for the immediate future, we are at the point of moving on and won’t be working with Mick on the DLC we currently have in production. As I’ve mentioned, his music is incredible, he is a rare talent, and I hope he wins many awards for his contribution to DOOM Eternal at the end of the year.”
“I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re at this point, but as we have many times before, we will adapt to changing circumstances and pursue the most unique and talented artists in the industry with whom to collaborate. Our team has enjoyed this creative collaboration a great deal and we know Mick will continue to delight fans for many years ahead,” Stratton writes in the Reddit post.
So that’s it. The pressure of game development, strict deadlines, creative headbutting and some social media outbursts have spun into if Software severing times with Gordon, at least in the interim.
We really have to pat id and Stratton on the back here for the openness that they could have easily kept mum on. We just hope that we see more Mick Gordon music in Doom some time in the future.