DOOM developer id Software has confirmed that it’s parted ways with composer Mick Gordon, amid a very public social media spat. The fallout came to the fore when an audio engineer posted an image of the waveforms from one of the songs on DOOM Eternal’s soundtrack. It showed a heavily compressed profile, with a less dynamic sound range compared to DOOM 2016’s soundtrack.
The original poster placed the blame at Gordon’s feet, though he was quick to distance himself from the project, claiming that he’d only mixed a “small handful of tracks” and “wouldn’t have done that”. He went on to tell another fan that he doubts he’ll work with id Software again, alluding to some kind of breakdown of communications.
This, as you can expect from people with pitchforks on the Internet, led to a tidal wave of online abuse being pointed at the developer’s lead audio designer, who was responsible for mixing the remainder of the soundtrack. Such has been the ferocity of the backlash, that executive producer Marty Stratton was forced on to Reddit to comment.
“Some have suggested that we’ve been careless with or disrespectful of the game music,” he wrote as part of a lengthy statement. “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. What has become unacceptable to me are the direct and personal attacks on our lead audio designer.”
Stratton continued that, while Gordon’s music is “defining”, the parties have “struggled to connect on some of the more production-related realities of development" and "communication around those issues have eroded trust”. There’s a lot more meat in the post itself, but the bottom line is that there was a serious breakdown in the relationship between the developer and the composer.
This has, ultimately, resulted in id Software deciding to end its relationship with Gordon for DOOM Eternal’s DLC and any future projects. “I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re at this point, but as we have many times before, we will adapt to changing circumstances and pursue the most unique and talented artists in the industry with whom to collaborate,” Stratton concluded.