id Software Releases Full Statement on Controversy with Composer Mick Gordon
There has been considerable controversy over Doom Eternal’s soundtrack ever since the game’s release. If you’d like to read the full context, check out our article about it here. It all started when the soundtrack was released, a few days after the Doom Eternal collector’s edition. Players realized that this soundtrack was different from the one created by Mick Gordon, the composer behind Killer Instinct, Prey, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and of course, Doom Eternal. On Twitter, a user by the name of @thatACDCguy posted this side-by-side visual comparison of the waveform audio from Eternal and 2016, stating that the music from the game is considerably better than that of the official soundtrack. Gordon replied that he had not actually mixed those latter tracks.
This fueled speculation that Gordon wasn’t given enough time by Bethesda and id Software to properly finish the music. This also led fans to believe that Chad Mossholder, id Software’s resident audio designer, stepped in to finish the mix for the game’s release. The result of this was a barrage of online attacks against Mossholder as well as other id Software and Bethesda employees, angry for the discrepancies between the tracks by Mossholder and those by Gordon.
However, today id Software has released their own side of the story with this Reddit post by Marty Stratton. In the post, Stratton explains that Gordon only ended up mixing 9 out of the 59 tracks for the sound track, with the other 50 being done by Mossholder. In addressing the community’s concerns, Stratton stated that “some have suggested that we’ve been careless with or disrespectful of the game music. 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.”
As the team was wrapping up production, the music was still not finished. Per Stratton’s explanation, id Software informed Gordon that Mossholder would be producing backup tracks, using the music fragments Gordon was using, in case he was not finished by then. Gordon requested more accommodations, but time was running out before the Doom Eternal collector’s edition release. Eventually, Gordon suggested that he and Mossholder combine what they had produced into one comprehensive release. Gordon’s main focus was on the combat tracks, which “are the most difficult to get right.”
In the end, Gordon was only able to finish 9 out of the promised 12 tracks. Gordon made it clear that he was not happy with the resulting mix, but Doom Eternal had to launch, with or without his product. Due to this spar, it is unlikely that Mick Gordon will work with id Software on any further projects. Whether you believe Gordon’s claim or id Software’s, at the very least we know both sides of the story.