Doom Eternal Composer, Mick Gordon, Won’t Be Returning for Upcoming DLC
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the original soundtrack to Doom Eternal. Releasing on April 19th, fans became concerned about the quality of the tracks. After some audio comparisons, it became apparent that composer Mick Gordon wasn’t involved on the mixing of the majority of songs. When a fan reached out to Mick on Twitter, he responded by confirming that he wasn’t involved. While the game’s music is stellar, our own review describing it as “bombastic,” the way it translated to the soundtrack release was less than ideal. This led to comments from Mick, saying he doubts he’ll work with id Software again. The lack of context and information also led fans to harass Lead Audio Designer, Chad Mossholder, which got Executive Producer, Marty Stratton, involved.
Taking to Reddit, Marty decided to share his side of the story to provide context, filling gaps in the situation. Some fans have accused id Software of being disrespectful with Mick’s work, or even that they didn’t provide him enough time to deliver quality content for the Doom Eternal OST. Marty states that none of this is true, proceeding to outline the troubled situation of the final product. Mick was originally contracted for providing music to the game, and was under no obligation to mix music for the OST. When requested to mix a minimum of 12 songs for the soundtrack by the March 20th launch, Mick accepted the terms. Realizing the amount of work needed, Mick requested more time to complete it, which id Software had allowed, giving him even more time than requested.
The soundtrack was now set to release mid-April, which meant that sadly, it wouldn’t meet the launch of the game. This also meant that the digital soundtrack, included in the Collector’s Edition, wouldn’t be readily available for fans that purchased it. Mick even suggested that having this extra time would allow him to provide more than the minimum of 12 tracks, even stating upward of 30 tracks. When April came, id Software began to grow concerned about the prompt delivery of the tracks. Marty took this time to request that Chad work on id versions of the tracks as a backup. These would be edited versions taken from the game, rather than the original source, which Mick had access to.
In early April, Marty reached out to Chad and alerted him of their backup plan with Chad’s tracks. After several days, Mick responded by saying that he and Chad should combine their tracks for the final product. Mick and Chad began communication and Chad sent everything he worked on to Mick. This would be so Mick could balance everything and put it all together in a single package. When the due date came, Marty reached out to Mick and was told that he would get the 12 tracks and over 60 minutes of music that evening. Mick informed him that next morning that he had run into issues, and would need additional time. Delivering 9 completed tracks, he said he would provide the additional music as soon as possible.
When listening to the 9 tracks, Marty felt that fans would be disappointed by the selections provided. Only one track was related to combat, while the others were more ambient in nature. When asked to discuss, Mick said the tracks he was working on were combat tracks, stating that they were the most difficult to get right. He then continues to suggest for Chad to provide more combat tracks to the final product. Mick’s undelivered tracks would be added as bonus tracks later on, and id moved forward with their release. The digital OST came, including nearly 60 tracks
With the release and controversy, Mick seemed to distance himself from the situation. Responding to fans by saying he wouldn’t have mixed the id tracks the way they were, he didn’t speak much more on the matter. Through private conversations, Mick and Marty discussed more of the situation. This brought to light more concerns and issues behind the scenes.
First of all, Mick said he was surprised of the scope of delivery. Mick seemingly expected a shorter list of songs based on his contractual agreement of 12 tracks. Marty was also aware that many of the id-edited tracks were originally intended as demos or mock-ups. Mick then stated that he wasn’t particularly happy with some of the editing on the id tracks. Finally, Mick was concerned that id gave Chad co-composer credit.
Marty states that Mick is always allowed to deliver more tracks to have a more satisfactory product. He also states that Chad only used in-game music or tracks that were part of a cinematic construction kit. Marty wanted to have a little involvement as possible, wanting to provide Mick with freedom to deliver on his commitments. They’ve extended the deadline multiple times, and even made it clear which songs were worked on by Chad. While Chad wasn’t listed as co-composer, he was a contributing artist for the tracks he edited so as not to mislead fans.
Long story short, according to Marty, Mick didn’t deliver what he promised in a timely manner. Both parties agreed to have Chad work on additional tracks as a backup. When the time came for release, those backups were the majority. Mick seemingly had concerns with the final product, but also chose to distance himself from the issues. In the end, Marty states that id Software will not be working with Mick on the Doom Eternal DLC. He chooses to respect Mick’s work and hope for the best for him, but looks to move forward.
While Mick Gordon’s contributions to Doom have pleased fans, it’s unfortunate that their collaboration together had to end this way. Doom Eternal is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch version is expected to arrive sometime later this year.