Mick Gordon Pens Explosive Open Letter On Doom Eternal’s Nightmare Production

Mick Gordon Pens Explosive Open Letter On Doom Eternal’s Nightmare Production

Australian composer Mick Gordon, whose thrumming heavy metal soundtrack for Bethesda’s 2016 Doom reboot became an instant modern classic, has written a scathing open letter on his blog detailing the collapse of his working relationship with id Software during production on 2020’s Doom Eternal.

After establishing that his post is in response to an open letter written by id studio director Marty Stratton in 2020, Gordon comes out swinging.

“Marty lied about the circumstances surrounding the DOOM Eternal Soundtrack and used disinformation and innuendo to blame me entirely for its failure.

Afterwards, he offered me a six-figure settlement to never speak about it,” Gordon continues. “As far as I’m concerned, the truth is more important.”

Gordon goes on to state that Stratton’s Reddit post impacted his reputation and career prospects. He writes that he considers his post a personal defence, not a direct attack. “It is a defence, not an unprovoked attack, issued with extreme reluctance only after all other attempts to resolve the matter have failed.”

It is certainly a comprehensive response, complete with its own lengthy table of contents.

Gordon’s letter communicates a sense that management was moving quickly to capitalise on the popularity of the 2016 remake, and details were getting lost in the mix. “Release was still two years away. The schedule, however, demanded I deliver a steady stream of final music immediately,” writes Gordon. “One of the game’s key features was music that closely matched gameplay, so aiming to produce finished music for levels still months away didn’t make sense.”

To combat what he saw as serious scheduling problems emerging early in development, Gordon says he proposed simple, practical changes that would allow him to write major themes and fill in the score as the game evolved. Stratton, Gordon says, struck this plan down.

As the story continues, Gordon talks about crunching on the soundtrack for months without being paid on time, and battling with management over completed music that it then decided to throw out.

And then Bethesda announced that the Doom Eternal collector’s edition would contain a copy of Gordon’s original soundtrack when, he says, nothing of the sort was in production, or had even been discussed.

Gordon’s entire, exhaustive letter is fascinating reading. It paints a pretty explosive picture of the game’s chaotic production, complete with photos of email conversations and behind-the-scenes production shots. Much of what Gordon says tracks with how the game’s completed soundtrack eventually turned out. If his version of events pans out, id and Bethesda will have a bit to answer for. Given the extensive and careful nature of his rebuttal, and that he’s finally airing all of this two years after the conjecture about the soundtrack died down, it seems like Gordon might have finally caught them out.

You can listen to Gordon’s music on Spotify.

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