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The war of words between id Software and the former composer of their DOOM franchise, Mick Gordon has, after more than a year of silence, hit new heights, as the former composer has take to his personal Medium blog to unload on his former employer. The evidence presented in Gordon’s post, titled “My full statement regarding DOOM Eternal” is explosive, revealing Gordon’s take on how the events of 2020, leading up to, and after the release of DOOM Eternal played out.
The post, nearly an hour in length to listen to, refutes many claims made by id Software Studio Director Marty Stratton in his 2020 Reddit post titled “DOOM Eternal OST Open Letter“, discussing the supposed lies of the developer’s Studio Director, as well as the “six-figure settlement to never speak about it.”
Gordon begins powerfully, not hiding his thoughts on Stratton’s previous statements,
Marty lied about the circumstances surrounding the DOOM Eternal Soundtrack and used disinformation and innuendo to blame me entirely for its failure.
Thankfully, Gordan summarised his own epic piece giving those of us unable to digest it all, the core of each point he makes. The summary reads,
“Summary of Facts
I haven’t been paid for over half of DOOM Eternal’s music: The game includes more than double the music I was contracted to produce. Rejects, mockups, demos, many of which were never meant for public release. I created this music as part of the development process and shared it with id Software in good faith. But id Software used the music in the game, marketing and soundtrack and still refuses to pay me for it.
The DOOM Eternal OST was a mess
It was announced, with my name attached, and made available for pre-order before I was contracted to produce it. Despite my alarm and constant appeals Marty refused to do anything about the situation, leading to a nine-month delay before I could start work.
- After seven months of inaction, I reported my concerns to Bethesda.
- Bethesda and I negotiated the DOOM Eternal OST directly, without Marty’s involvement.
- I received the contract on March 18, 2020, just 48 hours before DOOM Eternal was released. The delay was announced a week earlier before I was under contract.
The deadline was April 16 (29 days later) and the contract stipulated id Software had complete creative control and would aquire access to all my source material.
Marty withheld crucial details from me until 13 days before my deadline, such as:
- Potential legal trouble they faced for taking pre-orders before it was under contract.
- Details about their internally-produced OST: an alternative edited from my in-game score, which they’d worked on for at least six months without my knowledge or involvement.
I didn’t approve the release: In the days leading up to April 16, Marty cut me out of the process and decided to release their alternative version instead, reducing my direct contributions to filler. Both he, and id Software’s Lead Audio Designer, Chad Mossholder, didn’t allow me to hear the final album and didn’t seek my approval; they weren’t contractually required to do so.
Their poor-quality release immediately drew criticism, and a worried Marty personally asked me for assistance in addressing the situation. I made myself entirely available to Marty and committed to satisfying disappointed customers with a better OST. Marty made it clear he wanted me involved, saying he wanted a positive outcome, had no ill intentions and wanted to resolve the issue professionally.
- He offered to draft a joint statement addressing the situation and announcing plans to move forward.
- He requested I hold off on making further public comments until we could address the public together.
Marty told me to expect the draft within hours, but it never arrived.
Instead, days later, he published a 2500+ word “open letter” on a fan-run Reddit page that singled me out as the sole cause behind the botched OST. The post attracted thousands of comments and news articles and severely damaged my personal and professional reputation. Worst of all, he did it behind my back whilst leading me on with a bullshit story about working together on a professional solution to the problem.
His statement was full of lies, disinformation and innuendo, and when challenged, his company offered me a six-figure sum to shut up about it. When I tried, time and time again, amid a torrent of abuse, harassment and threats, to resolve the matter more amicably, he constantly refused, worried how addressing the Reddit post would damage his own reputation instead.
But as far as I’m concerned, truth and honesty are more important: Marty’s words damaged my character and attacked my reputation. I have afforded him ample opportunity to address this issue, but his refusal to do so has left me with no option other than to issue this statement.
In issuing this statement, I’m exercising my right to defend myself.“
Gordon’s claims don’t paint a pretty picture for Marty Stratton, id Software, or parent company Bethesda, and now of course Microsoft. Why Gordon has chosen now to release the statement is unknown. Perhaps an NDA had expired, or perhaps the controversy was making it harder for Gordon to get fresh work, maybe a post of this length just took a long time to write and collect evidence for. The ball is now back in Bethesda’s, id’s, and Marty Stratton’s court to respond next. How they choose to respond, when or if they do so, will be extremely interesting to see.