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After deadline issues for  Doom Eternal 's OST, a new composer will score its DLC

After deadline issues for Doom Eternal's OST, a new composer will score its DLC

May 4, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon

Mick Gordon, the composer behind both id Software's Doom (2016) and this year’s followup Doom Eternal, officially isn’t working on Eternal’s DLC and the reason for the split is a bit of a complicated affair at the center of a recent Reddit post from id's Marty Stratton.

The parting of ways stems, at least partially, from the recent discovery that the Doom Eternal original soundtrack (OST) released alongside the game’s collector’s edition was mixed internally by id’s lead audio designer rather than entirely by Gordon himself. A tweet on that realization prompted a response from Gordon, and later a message saying “doubt we’ll work together again.”

After a couple weeks of rising online speculation, Stratton, Doom Eternal's executive producer, published a lengthy open letter to explain, from id’s perspective, what went down during the entire process that led to a non-Gordon mixed soundtrack and confirming that the two parties won’t be working together on the music for Doom Eternal DLC currently in development.  

There’s a lot to be read in that full letter, but much of the friction seems to come from deadlines Gordon had to meet to get the soundtrack to Collectors Edition owners on time, and Gordon’s alleged struggle to meet those deadlines.

“After discussions with Mick in January of this year, we reached general agreement on the terms for Mick to deliver the OST by early March - in time to meet the consumer commitment of including the digital OST with the Doom Eternal CE at launch,” writes Stratton. “The terms of the OST agreement with Mick were similar to the agreement on Doom (2016) in that it required him to deliver a minimum of 12 tracks, but added bonus payments for on-time delivery. The agreement also gives him complete creative control over what he delivers.”

As the process went along, Stratton notes that both the track number promised and the time needed to produce the final mix increased—"we noted our understanding of him needing the extra time to ensure the OST meets his quality bar” —but that as the extended mid-April due date approached, the team became nervous that Gordon’s OST wouldn’t be ready in time and started work on an alternative. Additional delays, he notes, had the company jumpy about running afoul of consumer protection laws "that allow customers to demand a full refund for a product if a product is not delivered on or about its announced availability date."

That alternative and a handful of tracks mixed by Gordon himself are what eventually became the OST at the core of those earlier tweets, something Stratton says Gordon was aware of before the OST was released. The full letter aims to create a timeline of events leading up to the release from the perspective of id Software and while the studio isn’t planning to work with Gordon for the DLC, Stratton ends with an acknowledgement that “our team has enjoyed this creative collaboration a great deal and we know Mick will continue to delight fans for many years ahead.” 

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