- Mick Gordon releases an article about the Eternal OST, slamming Bethesda
- He claims he was not well communicated and paid for some of his work
- Bethesda says Gordon’s statements are a “distortion of the truth”
After a year and a half of silence, Mick Gordon explained his side of the Doom Eternal OST controversy, and Bethesda finally responded to the composer’s claims.
Gordon Accuses Bethesda
Video game production is a multi-faceted affair that includes the need for professionals in the spheres of programming, level design, gameplay design, animation, art, and of course, music composition. iD Software, developers of the critically acclaimed Doom franchise know this very well and this is why when making Doom 2016, the company brought in musician and composer Mick Gordon to create the game’s iconic soundtrack.
The game received high scores from both critics and players, and its amazing metal riffs played a crucial part in that. Mick Gordon rose to fame amongst the gaming and music communities, so it was a no-brainer that iD would bring him in again when developing Doom Eternal, a couple of years later.
But at this point, things took a downturn. Upon the release of the game’s soundtrack in 2020, fans immediately noticed a disparity in quality between the Doom 2016 OST and the one released with Eternal. Mick Gordon was quick to distance himself from Eternal’s OST, saying he did not do much of the work.
In response, Marty Stratton an executive producer at iD Software, posted an open letter on Reddit that claimed Gordon did not provide the source material for the additional tracks on the OST, He also said Gordon demanded extra payment and a contractual extension to get the OST completed in time.
This caused a lot of public outcry against Gordon, who received even received death threats and graphic messages of intent to harm him and his family. Due to this, the composer retreated from the online sphere, but on November 9, 2022, Gordon published an article on Medium explaining his side of the story.
It is quite a long article, but in short, Gordon talks about the fact there was much miscommunication and Eternal’s dev team. He said he had to work on a very tight schedule despite him telling the dev team, multiple times, that he needed more time. Gordon also called out Stratton because his open letter contains lies and inaccuracies, which negatively impacted his reputation.
To support his claims, Gordon provided a variety of forms of evidence including photographs of emails to verify his claims. He also stated that when his lawyers requested that the open letter be removed in response to this and other evidence, Gordon was instead offered “a six-figure payout” in exchange for a lifetime gag order and for the original letter to remain on the web. Furthermore, Gordon said he was not compensated for more than half of the music that ended up being used in the final release of the game.
“Using NDAs, settlements and gag orders to silence truths is an appalling tactic used by people in high positions of power fearful of accountability,” Gordon wrote. “I am choosing to speak out because the alternative was to accept that tactic as okay.”
Bethesda Denies Gordon’s Allegations
Bethesda, iD Software’s parent company and Doom publisher did not initially respond to Mick Gordon’s claims, taking them a whole week to issue a statement on Twitter. “The recent post by Mick Gordon both mischaracterized and misrepresented the team at iD Software, the development of Doom Eternal, Marty Stratton, and Chad Mossholder with a one-sided and unjust account of an irreparable professional relationship,” The statement reads.
ironically enough, Bethesda’s statement included the same allegations that Gordon made towards Id, saying he has “incited harassment and threats” against Stratton and the company in general. However, it seems that their reply is not very supported by the wider gaming community. Some replies note that Gordon’s statement was deep, detailed, and “brought receipts,” while Bethesda’s response is a much briefer and simpler denial.
Despite their differences, Bethesda, like Gordon, implored fans to refrain from attacking anyone involved in the dispute. “We remain incredibly proud of id’s previous collaborations with Mick Gordon and ask that fans refrain from reaching conclusions based on his account,” Bethesda said.
Mick Gordon’s previous work with iD was very fruitful: He contributed music to all the Wolfenstein reboot games—The New Order, The Old Blood, The New Colossus, Youngblood, and Cyberpilot. The composer also produced the OSTs for the 2016 Doom reboot and Arkane’s 2017 immersive sim Prey. Gordon’s work on Doom Eternal’s OST, although mired with changes and controversies, is also still amazing and has been influential in the gaming and metal scenes alike.