Doom Eternal Executive Producer Addresses Composer Mick Gordon’s Soundtrack Concerns
Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton states composer Mick Gordon will not be working with id Software for the game's upcoming DLC.
A couple of weeks back, there was some concern over the Doom Eternal soundtrack with fans noticing some problems with the mix. This led to rumors of composer Mick Gordon not returning to future Bethesda projects. However, a recent open letter from id Software executive producer Marty Stratton sheds more light on the debacle.
Stratton begins the letter with a brief overview of the situation between Gordon and id Software, as well as stating the criticisms the team, specifically, the Lead Audio Designer, have received throughout this period. Stratton states that due to how this whole situation reflects on the team, he felt compelled to tell the entire story.
“Some have suggested that we’ve been careless with or disrespectful of the game music,” says Stratton. “Others have speculated that Mick wasn’t given the time or creative freedom to deliver something different or better. The fact is – none of that is true.”
Along with fans realizing problems with the mix of the soundtrack, Gordon’s reply on social media where he says, “doubt we’ll work together again,” fueled that fire a bit. It seems before that point, this response was a surprise to Stratton and id Software, as they had never discussed ending their partnership. Despite Gordon’s talents, which Stratton applauds, he states that their issues are more production-related than quality-related.
“Talent aside, we have struggled to connect on some of the more production-related realities of development, while communication around those issues have eroded trust,” says Stratton. “For id, this has created an unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk.”
It seems id Software and Gordon had agreed to get music in by early March, as well as give the composer complete creative control of the Doom Eternal soundtrack. Gordon reached out in late February stated that the terms of the agreement were fine, but would need an additional four weeks to get everything done, which was accommodated by id Software according to Stratton.
Once early April hit, Stratton had already asked the Lead Audio Engineer to begin work on a back-up plan, which included using compressed versions of the music; these are the versions you hear in the game and the ones id Software had access to, rather than the uncompressed, more dynamic versions Gordon was working on. Stratton also emailed Gordon about hitting the agreed deadline, in which the composer suggested they could combine both his and the audio engineer’s work to create a more comprehensive soundtrack. These problems seem to have persisted throughout the production process which led to the problems with the Doom Eternal soundtrack.
According to the letter, Stratton and Gordon have talked about the composer’s social media posts. In the end, it seems id Software will no longer be working with Gordon on the DLC that is currently in production. Whether this extends to all future id Software projects is still unclear but it certainly seems likely.
“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,” says Stratton. Our team has enjoyed this creative collaboration a great deal and we know Mick will continue to delight fans for many years ahead.”
Doom Eternal is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC now. You can check out our written review and review discussion to see what we think of id Software’s latest iteration of the influential shooting franchise.