id Software finally speaks out on the big Doom Eternal soundtrack controversy and sets the record straight.
Fans aren't happy with id and Bethesda right now, and it all stems from a fallout between Doom OST creator Mick Gordon and id. The consensus is Bethesda shafted Mick Gordon by mixing his tracks and "ruining" the OST. But the real story is far more involved, and the truth is not any one person is to blame. id Software executive producer Marty Stratton reveals what actually happened and why.
According to Stratton, id's relationship with Gordon is quite complicated. Gordon is the reason for the soundtrack's delay. The rocker requested a 4-week extension, which ended up turning into a 6-week extension, and id was concerned the deadline wouldn't be hit. So Mick suggested a team-up with id's audio designer to help fill in the tracks. id didn't butcher Gordon's OST. The truth is, Gordon's OST wasn't actually finished in time, and had to depend on tracks and content created by id's lead audio designer.
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The following is a condensed version of Stratton's massive Reddit post:
"Over the past couple weeks, I've seen lots of discussion centered around the release of the DOOM Eternal Original Game Soundtrack (OST). While many fans like the OST, there is speculation and criticism around the fact that the game's talented and popular composer, Mick Gordon, edited and "mixed" only 12 of the 59 tracks on the OST - the remainder being edited by our Lead Audio Designer here at id.
"Some have suggested that we've been careless with or disrespectful of the game music. Others have speculated that Mick wasn't given the time or creative freedom to deliver something different or better. The fact is - none of that is true."
- id hadn't discussed terminating relationship with Mick prior
- id confirms it won't work with Gordon on new Doom DLC
"As for the immediate future, we are at the point of moving on and won't be working with Mick on the DLC we currently have in production."
- Mick always had "enormous creative autonomy" over Doom tracks
- id didn't secure Doom Eternal's OST deal until January 2020
- id says Gordon will receive "full compensation bonuses" as outlined in contract
- Mick accepted the deal terms on February 24
- Mick Gordon had 3 months to deliver Doom Eternal's soundtrack
- Gordon had 100% full creative control over the content and got a bonus for delivering the OST on the due date
- Mick asked for a 4-week extension in February. Id granted it.
- The 4-week extension turned into a 6-week extension, leading to the OST being delayed
- id started to work on "back-up tracks" for the OST mixed by audio designer just in case Gordon didn't deliver on time
- OST wasn't delivered, id got concerned, and Gordon was only to submit 9 out of the 12 tracks at the time
- Gordon said he needed more time for the full slate
- Gordon suggested he work with id's audio designer Chad to fill in the blank spots to ensure timely delivery
- Mick gave Chad his blessing to mix the OST
"This is all important to note because Chad only had these pre-mixed and pre-compressed game fragments from Mick to work with in editing the id versions of the tracks. He simply edited the same music you hear in game to create a comprehensive OST - though some of the edits did require slight volume adjustments to prevent further clipping," Stratton said.
- Mick feels the attacks on id are "distressing"
- Gordon also says he was surprised that id delivered 59 tracks--only 12 of which were mixed by Gordon
- Mick wasn't satisfied with some of the track edits
- All tracks mixed by id are clearly noted in OST metadata
"The tracks Mick delivered covered only a portion of the music in the game, so the only way to deliver a comprehensive OST was to combine the tracks Mick-delivered with the tracks id had edited from game music."
That's quite the saga. Both sides are to blame; first id wanted to create an OST in just 3 months, and then Gordon helped incite huge pushback based on incomplete information. Neither Gordon nor id are the bad guys here, and sometimes business relationships don't pan out.
But the huge wave of attacks on an audio designer who helped save id from a tight spot probably served as the breaking point.