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id Software Has Parted Ways With Doom Eternal Composer Mick Gordon

After many weeks of silence, id Software has addressed the controversy surrounding the dubious quality of the official soundtrack release of Doom Eternal. What’s damning is that the original composer Mick Gordon made some comments about it himself, saying that the mixing is subpar.

I commented about it yesterday. I turned I’d break the news here. This is a dark day for our beloved franchise from Doom

Sadly, the worst has happened: Mick Gordon will not be returning to work on the music for Doom Eternal’s DLC. Though to be fair, Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton addressed this issue in a Doom subreddit via an open letter:

“Some have suggested that we’ve been careless with or disrespectful of the game music. Others have speculated that [Gordon] wasn’t given the time or creative freedom to deliver something different or better. The fact is – none of that is true.

What has become unacceptable to me are the direct and personal attacks on our lead audio designer – particularly considering his outstanding contributions to the game – as well as the damage this mischaracterisation is doing to the many talented people who have contributed to the game and continue to support it.”

He went on stating that the two parties -Gordon and id’s lead audio designer Chad Mossholder- have struggled to connect on some production-related realities of development. “Communication around those issues have eroded trust. For id, this has created an unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk.”

The Plot Thickens

This is followed up with a detailed breakdown of events leading up to the OST’s release and the original agreement with Gordon, alongside an additional six-week extension to the deadline at the composer’s request. Even with that, Stratton said that he became “increasingly concerned about [Gordon] delivering the OST on time”. He asked id’s lead audio designer to mix tracks as a back-up plan.

Keep in mind that the internal mix was created using music fragments pre-compressed by Gordon for use in-game and not the original source material. When Stratton received the nine mixes, he was unhappy that the majority of the tracks were “ambient in nature” and only one featured “heavy-combat” elements. This, in turn, wouldn’t “meet the expectations” of fans. Due to this, both parties had to combine Gordon’s tracks with the lead audio designer’s internal efforts.

Stratton also added that following criticism of the released OST and Gordon’s subsequent comments, id Software reached out to the composer” to understand what prompted his online posts”. Gordon outlined a lot of concerns like edits to certain tracks, the nature of the music fragments used by id, and issues of being connected to a co-composer credit.

“I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re at this point,” said Stratton. “[B]ut 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.”

As someone who is privy to a LOT of stories of creatives “stringing” publishers along for delays, this is pretty bad. No matter how big you are, deadlines are deadlines. Especially when they’re outlined clear as day on your contract. Let’s hope this isn’t a recurring case because Mick Gordon is an awesome music maker & composer.

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