Back in April we covered that DOOM Eternal fans weren't happy that the soundtrack wasn't mixed by the original composer and were left frustrated with the squeaky clean audio that didn't seem to fit with the franchise's tone. Following the backlash, composer Mick Gordon confirmed he didn't mix the tracks and that he "wouldn't have done that" regarding the quality. He later said he doubted he'd ever work with id or Bethesda again and now the studio is confirming the permanent separation.
DOOM Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton took to the game's subreddit to address the backlash and the subsequent harassment that his team has endured following the initial news. "Some have suggested that we've been careless with or disrespectful of the game music," he mentioned in the thread, "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."
Stratton added, "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 mischaracterization is doing to the many talented people who have contributed to the game and continue to support it."
The executive producer then added that he's a fan of Gordon's work, but the disconnect between the two parties became too much of a point of contention and those communication issues have destroyed the trust and working relationship between the company and Gordon. He added that the eroded relationship was a huge point of concern for the parent company in terms of productivity and consistent delivery.
In the lengthy post, Stratton detailed a history where submission dates for Gordon's deliveries were not being met and that it came to a point where id was concerned that the DOOM Eternal OST wouldn't be ready when they needed it to be ready. Because of that, the studio claims that they quickly came up with a Plan B where the audio design lead would then mix the already laid tracks himself in its pre-compressed form in order to have something to deliver. Stratton added that this is a very unorthodox method for them and these files are usually something that the dev team itself wouldn't have access to.
Following this decision, Gordon, according to Stratton, submitted 9 of the promised 12 mixes with an open-ended delivery date for the remaining tracks. Stratton mentioned that he wasn't thrilled with the "ambient" tone of the tracks delivered and became worried that the more subdued direction wouldn't be hit with fans who expect high-energy music instead.
When those concerns were brought to life, both Gordon and id allegedly came to the agreement that they would take Gordon's made tracks and combine them with the internal team's efforts to get the OST mix out. Once it was live, the difference in styles were widely apparent with accusations that Gordon wasn't involved in the project at all. Following the backlash, including Gordon's own contributions, Stratton alleges that id reached out to him to find out what the motives were behind his social media additions. From there, Gordon relayed his own concerns about how everything went down, including Gordon's credit, which Stratton outlined here.
While previous to this backlash there was no agreement made to desist working together, Stratton did mention that this entire controversy has driven that permanent wedge between the two parties, resulting in no future collaborations between the two. Following his expressed disappointment in the outcome, the deed is done and the future OST plans this franchise are once more an open opportunity.
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As for the game itself, DOOM Eternal is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, with a Nintendo Switch release coming soon! You can scoop up a copy of the game right here through this link while supporting Prima Games at the same time!
Thoughts on the chronicles between Mick Gordon and id Software regarding the DOOM Eternal OST controversy? Sound off with your thoughts over on Twitter @PrimaGames.