DOOM Eternal Composer Speaks Out Against Id Software; Alleges Unpaid Wages and Abusive Behavior

Ule Lopez
DOOM Eternal Mick Gordon

Video game soundtracks and composers breathe a new layer of tone and feeling into games like Akira Yamaoka and his contributions to the Silent Hill series. Today’s topic focuses on Mick Gordon, a composer known for works like Seasons 1 and 2 of Killer Instinct, DOOM (2016), and more, as he spoke out about DOOM Eternal’s soundtrack.

Mick Gordon claims that Marty Stratton, Id Software’s Studio Director, spread misinformation about Eternal’s soundtrack, who also blamed Gordon for the soundtrack’s failure. You can read the original tweet below, which also contains Mick Gordon’s response in a Medium link.

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In the rather lengthy Medium statement, Mick explains that he had been blamed for DOOM Eternal’s soundtrack’s failure, and went rather in-depth on the process that had to happen for the game to be a reality. This whole mess starts in 2018, when Gordon signed on to handle the game’s soundtrack again. id Software put him on a contract to complete two entire level scores per month.

What makes this problematic is that release was still two years in the future, and Id needed to provide him with the materials needed for the project in a timely manner, which they never did. Following a couple of months with this schedule, it was pretty clear that things weren’t gonna work, so he scheduled a meeting to try to fix the scheduling.

This, unfortunately, went up in smoke as Marty shot the proposal down and tore Gordon down for raising the issue. Afterward, Mick tried to explain various other circumstances in a follow-up email to Marty, which yielded no response. The music situation would only worsen, though, as work would get thrown into the garbage, and Mick would get cut out of meetings, among other problematic concerns.

Mick also mentions throughout the report that he hadn’t been paid for more than half of the messy release of DOOM Eternal’s soundtrack. The project was announced (with Gordon’s name attached) and made available to be pre-ordered BEFORE Gordon was ever contracted. Marty’s inaction throughout the situation led to a nine-month delay before things could really get going.

Following this, negotiations would occur without Marty’s involvement and eventually landed on Gordon’s desk a mere two days before DOOM Eternal's release. The deadline for the project was a month later (on April 16th, 2020), and Mick not only did not approve the project, he also got cut out of the process and released an alternative version that rendered Gordon’s contributions as essentially “filler.”

The soundtrack wound up releasing and getting hammered. After being asked by Marty to address the issue, Mick first made himself available to Marty to fix the issue with disappointed customers. Later, he expected a joint draft for a statement on the situation, which never showed up. The Reddit post that began the whole mess was uploaded a few days after the fact.

In the aftermath of the Reddit letter, Mick was offered a six-figure sum that, if taken, would ensure his silence on the matter. And given Mick’s attempts to get a reasonable contract and work done and resolve the matter without getting money like that, Marty kept refusing. In Gordon’s words, “worried how addressing the Reddit post would damage his own reputation instead.”

Ultimately, the report exists simply to tell the truth. After inaction relating to Marty’s behavior, Gordon made the Medium report saying, “In issuing this statement, I’m exercising my right to defend myself.” This story is currently developing, and we’ll provide updates where available. DOOM Eternal is currently available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Google Stadia.

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