Id Software’s director is accused of lying about the failure of the original music by the composer of Doom Eternal
The Doom Eternal composer has charged the studio head of Id Software with lying about his involvement in the debacle of the game’s official soundtrack.
The game’s Collector’s Edition contained a soundtrack that promised “lossless” and “uncompressed” audio files with music from composer Mick Gordon.
Players, however, took issue with the fact that only 11 of the 59 tracks on the soundtrack were mixed by Gordon himself; the remaining tracks were created from audio snippets from the game.
The principal audio designer for the game was required to provide the remaining tracks when Gordon delayed and underdelivered on the soundtrack, according to a lengthy statement that Id Software studio director Marty Stratton published on Reddit in May 2020.
Gordon, however, has rejected Stratton’s accusations and is accusing him of not only lying about the scenario but also of paying him a six-figure money to keep quiet about it in a lengthy statement that was published today on his own Medium page.
In his 14,000-word statement, Gordon goes into great depth about his entire experience working on the game, from his initial signing on to the uproar over the music.
Gordon claims that Doom Eternal was “a challenging project” to write the score for since Id supposedly demanded two levels’ worth of music per month even though the majority of the game wasn’t yet complete.
While Gordon had suggested a different timeline, Stratton allegedly criticized his capacity to complete the work. Gordon believes that several rewrites and the necessity to continuously discard contributed music were caused by the game’s ongoing development.
Gordon claims that the man “rejected my conviction that the current schedule was wrong and claimed that my conduct of trying to address it was an indication of ineptitude.”
He flung the suggestion back in my face and continued to beat me down for having the audacity to bring up the subject in the first place, refusing to acknowledge the truth of the situation.
Gordon further asserts that he was not paid for the job until eight months had passed, and then not again for another 11 months.
He then talks about the Collector’s Edition of Doom Eternal, which will include “Mick Gordon’s original Doom Eternal soundtrack,” which was announced during Bethesda’s E3 2019 Showcase.
Gordon claims: “I hadn’t received a contract offer to produce the standalone OST, and it wasn’t in production. In actuality, we hadn’t even discussed the project’s scope, timeline, or viability.
“E3 events are meticulously planned, well-rehearsed, and managed months in advance, but nobody thought to bring up the OST with me in any way. The news was how I discovered it.
Gordon alleges that after the game was published, he learned that all the “rejected tracks, mockups, demos, concepts and sketches” he had provided but had assumed weren’t being used had really been used.
He claimed that this meant they had utilized his music for 4 hours, 46 minutes, but had only compensated him for 2 hours, 22 minutes, leaving 2 hours, 24 minutes, unpaid.
Then it was time to create the soundtrack (OST), which differs from the in-game soundtrack because it is made up of standalone songs rather than short portions that are dynamically combined based on the game’s circumstances.
Gordon alleges that although he promised to write 12 songs for the OST and that the deadline was April 16, Bethesda assured him that this deadline was flexible and that he would receive a bonus if he fulfilled it.
He later asserted that Stratton had emailed him 13 days prior to the deadline to inform him that the April 16 deadline was now necessary because “consumer protection laws in some territories meant anyone who purchased the Collector’s Edition was entitled to a full refund if they didn’t receive the OST by April 20,” which meant the April 16 deadline was now required.
Gordon claims he saw this as a warning that if the OST was late, he would be held legally responsible for any losses incurred by Id Software.
The whole thing felt like a setup to shift responsibility for selling the OST without a contract in the first place, he claimed, because this important piece of information wasn’t disclosed to me until after I’d signed the deal.
Gordon then asserts that after learning that Imain d’s audio designer had been working on the alternate soundtrack for six months without his knowledge, he thought that “the material fell far short of expectations” when he received the recordings.
Gordon claims he worked 18 to 20 hour days to complete the tracks on schedule, but Stratton changed his mind about the music he wanted with five hours left.
Gordon writes, “I shot back that their rapidly approaching deadline and tight schedule meant it was too late for a change in direction and that I’d prefer to use the limited time left to focus on the music rather than accommodate his sudden last-minute interest in the OST.”
He claimed that Chad’s version would be made available instead. He instructed me to turn in my tracks, and Chad would put together the finished OST.
Gordon states that because he wasn’t given access to the completed soundtrack before it was made public, “his heart sunk” when he first heard it.
Along with my direct contributions, there were an extra 47 tracks created by shoddily piecing my in-game score together, he claims. They displayed the same reckless contempt for basics of music as the early cuts that id Software had shown me a week earlier.
“I was startled at the ineptitude and couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” the speaker continues. Track after track was rife with actual, glaring technical flaws as well as mistakes from poor editing.
Following the release of the OST, Gordon alleges he spoke with Stratton over Skype to express his concerns.
Gordon claims that the man “spent some time criticizing me for my lack of public support” before asserting that “the failure of the OST was totally my fault.”
“I replied that it wasn’t my choice to include 47 tracks with terrible editing. Before its release, I had never even listened to their last album. He demanded that I accept full public accountability and made me aware of my failure to do so.
I argued that there was no way in hell that I would accept responsibility for something I didn’t do.
“We cleared the air and hammered out a plan to work together,” he further adds. I thought this was a great first step when Marty recommended we release a joint statement that addressed the OST dilemma and outlined our plans to restore the album.
He asked that I wait to make any more public remarks until we both address the audience. He asked, and I answered I was up to his discretion.
Instead, according to Gordon, Stratton went on to publish a “open letter” on Reddit in which he accused Gordon of being to fault for the OST’s subpar quality.
Gordon’s statement concludes, “Marty assured me to expect the draft [joint statement] within hours, but it never arrived.”
Instead, a few days later, he wrote a 2,500+ word “open letter” that blamed the failed OST entirely on me, and he posted it on a fan-run Reddit website.
“The post garnered tens of thousands of comments and news stories, badly harming my reputation both personally and professionally. Worst of all, he did it behind my back while deceiving me into believing that we were working on a sensible solution to the issue.
“His statement was replete with falsehoods, misinformation, and insinuation, and when I questioned it, his employer made me an offer of six figures to stop talking about it.
“When I repeatedly attempted to resolve the situation amicably in the face of a barrage of insults, harassment, and threats, he consistently refused, fearing that doing so would harm his own reputation instead.
“But truth and honesty, in my opinion, are more significant because Marty’s statements assaulted my reputation and hurt my character. I’ve given him plenty of chances to respond to this matter, but his unwillingness to do so has forced me to make this statement.
I’m using my right to self-defense by making this comment.