My full statement regarding DOOM Eternal
This statement is issued in response to id Software Studio Director Marty Stratton’s “DOOM Eternal OST Open Letter”, published on Reddit.
Before you ask, this has come 2 years later than expected for reasons that can be abundantly clear if you do just a little bit of reading (last bullet point below for the lazy and/or semi-illiterate).
Mick Gordon, the composer for Doom 2016, Doom Eternal, and a number of other titles under the Bethesda umbrella released a statement today detailing his experience surrounding creation of the score and OST for Doom Eternal. Anyone who was interested in Eternal before it launched will likely remember the mess surrounding the delay of the OST. This statement is a long read (about an hour) but worth it. If you don't feel compelled to read the entire thing you should at least read Mick's own TLDR at the end. Even that is lengthy, but there's a lot of history here and it can only be cut down so much.
relative TLDR -
- id Software mismanaged the project from the start, despite early concerns and suggestions expressed by Mick regarding schedule and direction of the score. id rejected material that he submitted but still used it in the final release without his knowledge and without paying for that material per the contract.
- id announced "Mick Gordon's original Doom Eternal soundtrack" unbeknownst to Mick and without a contract in place for him to produce it. Mick learned of the OST announcement through the media. Requests by Mick to then get a contract in place were ignored for months so he went over id to Bethesda. Once in-place (days before game launch and with only a month to the deadline) id continued to ignore requests for direction. Despite re-involving Mick last minute, the final production of the OST was ultimately taken out of his hands and id released their own version. Though id claimed that they cobbled together the OST last minute, metadata from files they had sent to Mick indicated they had been working on it for months.
- The reddit thread by Marty Stratton (id studio director) posted in May 2020 to address the OST delay resulted in a lot of hate and threats sent directly to Mick, and was put out when Mick was expecting to prepare a joint statement with id.
- Mick Gordon has spent the last 2 years in negotiations with Zenimax legal attempting to have Marty retract the reddit statement, get paid for all of his work, and to allow him to produce an OST up to his standards. Bethesda's legal team has continuously stalled the process, on top of pushing a hush settlement to bar Mick from discussing the ordeal and requiring him to publicly take responsibility for a process he was largely removed from.
For my part I thought there was something off about Marty's reddit post but figured that there was a bit of blame on both sides and it just fell apart in an unfortunate situation that everybody decided to walk away from. I was disappointed with the state of the OST release (didn't buy the CE and had looked forward to a later digital release) but ended up forgetting about the whole situation a while after I finished the game. I believe Mick Gordon's account and am curious to see how id/Bethesda/Zenimax respond.