Two years after the Doom Eternal soundtrack controversy highlighted a conflict between the game’s developers and composer Mick Gordon, he has finally spoken out.
In a lengthy post on Medium, Gordon has offered his side of the Doom Eternal conflict with an account that includes accusations that id Software didn’t pay him half for the game’s soundtrack, and that executive producer Marty Stratton was an abusive presence. recurring throughout his work on the score and soundtrack.
For context, Gordon’s issues first became apparent in 2020, when the Doom Eternal soundtrack was released alongside the Collector’s Edition and fans noted sound mix discrepancies between the soundtrack and the soundtrack itself. at Doom 2016. At the time, Gordon noted on social media that he had not mixed the tracks in question, prompting Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton to issue a public statement regarding Gordon’s work on the game. Stratton’s account included multiple concerns that Gordon would not be able to deliver his promised paper on time, and ended by noting that they would probably never work together again.
Now, however, Gordon paints a very different picture.
Mick Gordon alleges crunch and multiple salary issues
He begins by describing the tight deadlines for the final versions of his promised theme songs: two finished pieces of level music a month. However, he claims that he didn’t know what kind of levels or environments those tracks should cover due to constant changes in development and missed deadlines.
Gordon claims that he proposed to management an alternate programming plan that would allow him to first write broader, reusable themes that could then be turned into specific final versions as levels were developed, but says Stratton turned him down. According to Gordon, this put a lot of pressure on him, as he worked late into the night finalizing the music for levels that hadn’t been designed yet, then scrapping it when he didn’t fit in the later levels.
Gordon notes that all of this was marred by slow communication from the management, their exclusion from meetings about the music, and their increasing ostracism from the rest of the team.
But that was not all. Gordon also complains of multiple payment issues during his time working on Doom Eternal, including at least one attempt to deny payment because id Software had “changed its mind” and no longer wanted to use the music he had provided, and others. delays or deferrals of punctual payment. At one point, Gordon claims that he was unpaid for 11 months. When the game and soundtrack were finally released, Gordon says he found that almost all of his music had been used, including numerous tracks he thought were rejected, but he had only been paid half as much, and as of publication he says they haven’t done it yet.
Gordon also claims that id Software announced the aforementioned Doom Eternal OST without ever reaching an agreement with him to produce it, and ignored his attempts to reach an agreement. Ultimately, he went straight to Bethesda to strike a deal, and through multiple communications and contract delays, he landed one for 12 songs, which he struggled to complete on time. However, Gordon goes on to say that Stratton re-entered the negotiations, adding additional pressure to finish quickly and revealing that audio designer Chad Mossholder had been working on an alternate OST for months. Mossholder’s work, which according to Gordon was largely an edition of his own original score, eventually made up 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 BSO, which largely involved Stratton berating him and blaming him for his failures. Gordon says they eventually agreed to release a joint statement and was hoping a draft would arrive in his inbox, when he was surprised by Stratton’s posting of an open letter on Reddit, which Gordon says he was harassed about. and bombarded with emails and phone calls. Gordon took legal action, but claims settlement negotiations fell through when he demanded Stratton remove the post from Reddit. At one point, Gordon claims he was offered six figures to take full public responsibility for the soundtrack’s failures, an offer he turned down.
Despite months of negotiations in which Microsoft announced that it would acquire Bethesda and in which, according to Gordon, Stratton became increasingly hostile, no agreement was ever reached.
“I’ve worked on great games, made lifelong friendships, and worked my butt off in the trenches with some of the best creative minds on the planet,” Gordon concludes. “I have had many great experiences in the gaming industry. My ‘collaboration’ with Marty Stratton was not one of them.
“I never left DOOM. I quit a toxic client.”
“Marty couldn’t accept that I didn’t want to work with him again, and he did his best to send my career into a tailspin as punishment. He resorted to lies and innuendo that crumbled under the most basic level of scrutiny, and then tried to bury the matter under a pile of money.”
Bethesda and Stratton have yet to respond to Gordon’s allegations. IGN has contacted Bethesda for comment.