Two years after a controversy over the Doom Eternal soundtrack mixing brought to light a behind-the-scenes dispute between the game’s developers and composer Mick Gordon, Gordon is finally speaking out.
In a lengthy Medium post, Gordon offered his side of the Doom Eternal dispute with an account that includes allegations that id Software failed to pay him for half of the game’s soundtrack, and that executive producer Marty Stratton was an abusive recurring presence throughout his work on the score and OST.
For context, Gordon’s issues were first highlighted in 2020 when the Doom Eternal soundtrack was released alongside the Collector’s Edition and fans noted discrepancies in the sound mix between the soundtrack. and the same piece in Doom 2016. At the time, Gordon pointed out on social media that he did not mix the tracks in question, leading Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton to issue a statement public about Gordon’s work on the game. Stratton’s account included multiple concerns that Gordon would not be able to deliver his promised work on time and ended by noting that they would likely not work together again.
Now, however, Gordon paints a very different picture.
Mick Gordon alleges crunch and multiple pay issues
He begins by outlining tight deadlines for final releases of his promised music tracks — two finished pieces of level music per month. However, he says there was a lack of guidance on what kind of levels or environments these tracks were meant to cover due to constant development changes and missed milestones.
Gordon then claims that he proposed an alternative programming plan to management that would allow him to first write larger, reusable themes that could then be turned into specific final versions as levels were defined. , but says Stratton canceled it. This resulted, according to Gordon, in a serious crisis for him as he worked late into the night finalizing the music for levels that had yet to be designed, only to have that music later rejected when it didn’t. did not correspond to the levels created after the fact.
Gordon notes that all of this was punctuated by slow communication from management, him being cut off from meetings over music, and increasing ostracization from the rest of the team.
That was not all. Gordon also complains of multiple compensation issues during his time working on Doom Eternal, including at least one attempted denial of payment because id Software had “changed its mind” and no longer wanted to use the music it had. he had provided, and other delays or delays in payment on time. At one point, Gordon claims he hasn’t been paid for 11 months. When the game and soundtrack finally came out, Gordon says he realized they had used almost all of his music, including many tracks he thought had been rejected, but hadn’t paid him. only for half – and from his post, they still do that.
Gordon also claims that id Software announced the aforementioned Doom Eternal OST without ever having reached a deal with him to produce one, and ignored his attempts to make such a deal. He eventually approached Bethesda directly for a deal and, through multiple communication and contract delays, secured one for 12 songs, which he chewed through to finish on time. However, Gordon goes on to say that Stratton got involved in the negotiations again, adding further pressure to finish quickly and revealing that audio designer Chad Mossholder had been working on an alternate OST for months. Mossholder’s work, which Gordon says was largely modifications of his own original score, eventually formed the bulk of the final version.
“I never left Doom, I left a toxic client”
After the release, Gordon recounts that Stratton scheduled a call with him to discuss the negative comments to the OST which largely involved Stratton berating and blaming him for his failures. Gordon claims they eventually agreed to release a joint statement and were expecting a draft to arrive in his inbox, when he was blindsided by Stratton’s posting of an open letter on Reddit to the place, on which Gordon says he was harassed, doxxed and bombarded with emails. and phone calls. Gordon sued, but claims settlement negotiations broke down when he asked Stratton to remove the Reddit post. At one point, Gordon says he was offered six personalities to publicly take full responsibility for the failures of the OST, an offer he declined.
Doom Eternal (Screenshots from January 2019)
Despite months of back and forth negotiations during which Microsoft announced it would acquire Bethesda and over which Gordon claims Stratton grew increasingly hostile, a deal was never reached.
“I’ve worked on great games, made lifelong friendships, and worked hard in the trenches with some of the best creative minds on the planet,” Gordon concludes. “I’ve had many great experiences in the video game industry. My ‘collaboration’ with Marty Stratton was not one of them.
“I never left DOOM. I left a toxic client.
“Marty couldn’t accept that I never wanted to work with him again, and did his best to send my career into a dive as punishment. He resorted to lies and innuendo that plummeted below the level of most basic control, then tried to bury the problem under a pile of cash.”
Bethesda and Stratton have yet to respond to Gordon’s accusations. IGN has contacted Bethesda for comment.
Rebekah Valentine is a reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
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