id Software executive producer Marty Stratton has issued a statement in response to a recent controversy surrounding Doom Eternal’s original soundtrack (OST) release after composer Mick Gordon distanced himself from the project, prompting a backlash against the developers.
In a lengthy open letter, Stratton stated some fans had been critical about the fact that Gordon edited and mixed only 12 of the 59 tracks on the OST, with the remainder being edited by id’s lead audio designer.
“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,” Stratton stated.
“I feel it is my responsibility to respond on their behalf.
“We’ve enjoyed an amazingly open and honest relationship with our fans, so given your passion on this topic and the depth of misunderstanding, I’m compelled to present the entire story.
“When asked on social media about his future with DOOM, Mick has replied, “doubt we’ll work together again.”
“This was surprising to see, as we have never discussed ending our collaboration with him until now – but his statement does highlight a complicated relationship.”
Stratton said communication and production-related issues created an unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk.
He said in early March, they announced via Twitter that the OST component in the DOOM Eternal collector’s edition was delayed and would not be available as originally intended.
“It’s important to note at this point that not only were we disappointed to not deliver the OST with the launch of the CE, we needed to be mindful of consumer protection laws in many countries that allow customers to demand a full refund for a product if a product is not delivered on or about its announced availability date.
“As we hit April, we grew increasingly concerned about Mick delivering the OST to us on time.
“After listening to the 9 tracks he’d delivered, I wrote him that I didn’t think those tracks would meet the expectations of DOOM or Mick fans – there was only one track with the type of heavy-combat music people would expect, and most of the others were ambient in nature.
“I asked for a call to discuss. Instead, he replied that the additional tracks he was trying to deliver were in fact the combat tracks and that they are the most difficult to get right.”
On April 19, the OST was released to CE owners.
Soon after release, some fans noted and posted online the waveform difference between the tracks Gordon had mixed from his source files and the tracks that Chad Mossholder had edited from Gordon’s final game music.
“In a reply to one fan, Mick said he, “didn’t mix those and wouldn’t have done that.”
“That, and a couple of other simple messages distancing from the realities and truths I’ve just outlined has generated unnecessary speculation and judgement – and led some to vilify and attack an id employee who had simply stepped up to the request of delivering a more comprehensive OST.
“Mick has shared with me that the attacks on Chad are distressing, but he’s done nothing to change the conversation.”
After reaching out to Gordon several times via email to understand what prompted his online posts, Stratton said they were able to talk and address some of the issues.
“He said that he was surprised by the scope of what was released – the 59 tracks.
“Chad had sent Mick everything more than a week before the final deadline, and I described to him our plan to combine the id-edited tracks with his own tracks (as he’d suggested doing).
“The tracks Mick delivered covered only a portion of the music in the game, so the only way to deliver a comprehensive OST was to combine the tracks Mick-delivered with the tracks id had edited from game music.
“Mick also communicated that he wasn’t particularly happy with some of the edits in the id tracks.
“I understand this from an artist’s perspective and realize this opinion is what prompted him to distance from the work in the first place.
“That said, from our perspective, we didn’t want to be involved in the content of the OST and did absolutely nothing to prevent him from delivering on his commitments within the timeframe he asked for, and we extended multiple times.”