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Composer Mick Gordon Claims Bethesda Offered Him “Six Figures” To Take Blame On ‘DOOM Eternal’ OST; Developer Denies Allegations

Mick Gordon denies allegations made against him over Doom Eternal's OST, claiming Bethesda offered him "six figures" to take blame.

Mick Gordon, composer best known for his work in DOOM (2016) and the Wolfenstein series, denies allegations made against him over DOOM Eternal‘s OST, claiming Bethesda offered him “six figures” to take blame.

The Doomslayer stabs a Cacodemon in the eye via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer stabs a Cacodemon in the eye via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

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The problem started in March 2020 when Bethesda announced fans wouldn’t be getting the DOOM Eternal OST in the Collector’s Edition, and instead launched it in April of that year.

On release, fans noticed the OST versions of several tracks were more compressed than their in-game counterparts, noting mixing issues and discrepancies in audio quality. It was a far cry from Bethesda’s promise they’d “provide a digital ultra-high quality, lossless version of the new standalone soundtrack.” 

The Doomslayer holds his combat shotgun aloft via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer holds his combat shotgun aloft via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon revealed soon after that he had only mixed a few of the tracks. Replying to a fan discussing “BFG 2020,” Gordon stated “I didn’t mix those and wouldn’t have done that. You’ll be able to spot the small handful of tracks I mixed (Meathook, Command and Control, etc…)”

Mick Gordon reveals he did not handle tracks in Doom Eternal's Soundtrack on Twitter
Mick Gordon discusses the DOOM Eternal OST on Twitter

Gordon had already hinted at issues in February of that year. Reportedly in one (now deleted) YouTube comment he stated “All those stupid ‘time signature changes’ are a result of someone from marketing piecing this track together without any musical knowledge.”

In April of the same year, an alleged leaked text message was shared on the r/Doom subreddit, claiming to show an exchange between Gordon and a user who asked whether the composer and id Software would work on another DOOM title.

“I doubt we’ll work together again,” read Gordon’s reply. Later comments made by the former DOOM composer suggest the screenshot was legitimate.

MedicalMilk shares an alleged text message from Mick Gordon on the 'Doom' Subreddit. Therein, Gordon allegedly states he doubt he'll work with Id Software again.
Mick Gordon discusses DOOM on MedicalMilk Reddit

Gordon reportedly confirmed he had only mixed 11 tracks (though other sources claim 12), with audio director Chad Mossholder appearing in the metadata of all other tracks. In May 2020, Executive Producer Marty Stratton issued a lengthy open letter on Reddit, prompted by the allegations and alleged attacks made on Mossholder.

Stratton claims that Gordon agreed in January 2020 to produce the official OST for the Collector’s Edition by “Early March.” Allegedly with complete creative control, this would be a minimum of 12 tracks, and a bonus if submitted on time. In February, Gordon allegedly asked for four more weeks, but promised 30 tracks. Id Software allegedly gave six weeks, and would honor the bonus for the new date.

The Doomslayer steps out onto Hell on Earth, with a giant demon towering overhead via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer steps out onto Hell on Earth, with a giant demon towering overhead via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Nonetheless, id Software grew concerned near April, and Mossholder was tasked with producing “id versions” of tracks as a backup. Stratton claimed this meant working with the fragmented, already mixed, and compressed versions of the tracks (as DOOM Eternal and other games require for their in-game music). 

Stratton allegedly reached out to Gordon in early April, revealing Mossholder’s work and emphasizing the deadline. Gordon allegedly suggested his and Mossholder’s works be used for “a more comprehensive release.” When Mossholder reached out, Gordon allegedly reiterated that Mossholder’s work fill out the OST, and that he had been contracted to produce only 12 tracks.

The remains of Dr. Samuel Hayden's cybernetic body are strung up via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The remains of Dr. Samuel Hayden’s cybernetic body are strung up via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon allegedly requested Mossholder send his work to compile and balance everything for the final OST. On the morning after the tracks were due, Gordon allegedly stated he had issues with several tracks and needed more time. On request, he allegedly delivered what he had completed at that time – nine tracks.

Stratton felt those tracks wouldn’t meet fans’ expectations, with only one being “heavy-combat music” and all others being ambient. Gordon allegedly stated it was those very tracks he was having issues with, and once again suggested Mossholder’s version of the heavier tracks be used if needed. Stratton allegedly offered to include the final two Gordon tracks as bonus tracks. 

The Doomslayer holds up Hell Priest Deag Nilox' decapitated head, fixing his crown via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer holds up Hell Priest Deag Nilox’ decapitated head, fixing his crown via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Stratton deemed Gordon’s post on Twitter to be “distancing from the realities and truths I’ve just outlined,” and in turn lead to speculation, defamation, and attacks on Mossholder. Stratton reached out to Gordon, who allegedly replied that he was surprised by the number of tracks in the OST; 59 in total.

Gordon allegedly voiced concerns Mossholder would be given a co-composer credit. Stratton denies this was ever going to happen, and Mossholder was credited as a “contributing artist.” That was the end of the matter as of May 2020.

Now, 2 years and 6 months later, Gordon has replied by disputing Stratton’s version of events.

The Doomslayer, aboard the Fortress of Doom, receives a mission to shoot a hole in Mars via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer, aboard the Fortress of Doom, receives a mission to shoot a hole in Mars via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

In a staggering 14,500+ word statement, Gordon opens and insists Stratton had “lied about the circumstances surrounding the DOOM Eternal Soundtrack, and used disinformation and innuendo to blame me entirely for its failure.” He added that Stratton allegedly offered “a six-figure settlement to never speak about it. As far as I’m concerned, the truth is more important.”

Gordon claims Stratton’s earlier statement had “severely” harmed his reputation; both professional and personal. He declares that his own statement is him exercising is right to defend himself, “issued with extreme reluctance only after all other attempts to resolve the matter have failed.”

The Doomslayer kneels in respect via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer kneels in respect via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon claims he was contracted to produce 142 minutes of music for DOOM Eternal, with the OST requiring a separate contract due to its “highly involved” work. The alleged initial objective of two levels being fully scored per month was “tight,” but not impossible. Other conditions made it far more challenging.

Despite being two years before launch, id Software allegedly demanded finalized music fitting the gameplay; even when many basic elements hadn’t been finalized. Gordon allegedly requested “materials illustrating the music’s intended purpose,” which id Software allegedly didn’t deliver “in a timely manner.”

Even then, footage of gameplay was from unstable builds, and levels were made of just grey boxes.

The Doomslayer looks out over Sentinel Prime via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer looks out over Sentinel Prime via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Along with being unable to use 2016’s DOOM as an example due to DOOM Eternal “heading in a new direction,” other hindering factors allegedly included a contract delay from id Software, and communication overall being slow.

Aside from “a surprise two-week all-hands-on-deck marketing interruption took six weeks instead,” conversations would allegedly result in “unnecessary arguments arising from unrealistic expectations.” This allegedly included id Software failing to understand the “Metal Choir” track would take months, rather than being completed within the first two weeks.

The Doomslayer latches onto a Mancubus via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer latches onto a Mancubus via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

These alleged grievances mounted over two months, matching Gordon’s prior experience with other Bethesda-published games having lofty-yet-unrealistic expectations. As such, he explained his issues to id Software, and made a proposal.

He allegedly proposed that id Software “define the overall game’s musical identity by writing strong reusable themes before ramping up production of final music assets when the game’s exact needs become apparent.” Dates would remain, but without the two-levels-per-month goal. Gordon felt this was more typical, easier to handle, and within the budget. 

The Doomslayer looks out over Urdak via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer looks out over Urdak via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Stratton allegedly rejected not just the proposal, but the notion the schedule was “flawed.” He allegedly suggested Gordon’s actions were “a sign of incompetence.” Gordon’s attempts to further clarify his proposal were allegedly ignored. 

Months in, Gordon’s fears of his work not fitting and workload becoming insurmountable were proven right. “Weeks of work got thrown in the trash,” Gordon asserts, “and calls for urgent rewrites came amid milestones already packed tight.” Later Gordon alludes that this would mean he would have to produce more work in the following week to catch up.

The Doomslayer turns a Soldier into bloody chunks via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer turns a Soldier into bloody chunks via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

This was allegedly combined with being “cut out” of music meetings, the file transfer system auto-deleting all music files every two weeks, and Gordon rarely being able to check his work in-game. Weekly calls with the audio team, which Gordon used for key information, were allegedly “frequently hijacked by panic-stricken managers,” offering little aid and only “hiked up stress levels.”

Gordon further claims while “immediate team members were sympathetic to the circumstances,” they were reluctant to raise the issues with upper management. The latter allegedly blamed Gordon for those very issues he predicted and warned them about.

The Doomslayer is given a Praetor token by a Night Sentinel via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer is given a Praetor token by a Night Sentinel via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Other mismanagement allegedly included “hour-long levels” having just 30 seconds of “exploration music” allocated to them, which Gordon claims he managed to argue against, at the cost of time needing to demonstrate the issue. id Software’s alleged solution was to deduct allocated music time from other areas of the game. 

Yet further issues allegedly included pay. “Shortly after the QuakeCon 2018 premiere,” and after two tracks had been thrown out, id Software allegedly “denied payment on the notion they changed their mind and no longer liked the music.” When Gordon argued the tracks had been used in the trailer at a promotional event, id Software “caved.”

This was a precursor to id Software allegedly becoming “reluctant to approve anything I delivered.”

The Doomslayer cuts through a zombie with a chainsaw, making ammo and pickups spill forth via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer cuts through a zombie with a chainsaw, making ammo and pickups spill forth via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

The audio team allegedly “weren’t willing to sign off on anything they couldn’t thoroughly test.” As “any official measure of completion” was also made vague, id Software management “constantly painted my progress as a total failure,” Gordon claims, leading to being “chewed out” and “ridiculed.”

This allegedly led to Gordon working eight months without pay, then after being paid in January 2019, a further 11 months. This was also allegedly during a time of “severe crunch” for the whole studio. For Gordon, this allegedly led to a year of sleeping in his studio, “surviving on microwaved food and spending long periods away from family.”

The Doomslayer finds an extra life via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer finds an extra life via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Despite the OST being announced as part of the DOOM Eternal Collector’s Edition at E3 2019, Gordon claims he had no contract to produce it. As E3 announcements “are planned months in advance, well-rehearsed, and carefully managed,” Gordon was worried he allegedly hadn’t been involved in any discussions about the OST’s scope, timeframe, “or whether it was even feasible.” 

Gordon claims “customers were putting money down for a Collector’s Edition item that had no way of materialising,” and had no knowledge if the OST was even in production.

The Doomslayer fights an Arachnotron via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer fights an Arachnotron via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon reached out to id Software to make an agreement immediately, yet Stratton allegedly “flatly denied me the contract and refused to do anything about the OST, saying he didn’t want to cause a ‘distraction’.” While Gordon continually implored about the OST – including the perceived lack of a strategy – Stratton allegedly continued to deny any conversation. 

This was, as Gordon notes, despite the fact the DOOM Eternal Collector’s Edition was advertised as having “download codes for lossless digital copies of Mick Gordon’s DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal original soundtracks.” Not only does Gordon argue this is against consumer protection laws, but that his name and reputation were now at risk if the OST turned out poorly.

Bethesda's website announcing the Doom Eternal Collector's Edition, stating it features "download codes for lossless digital copies of Mick Gordon’s DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal original soundtracks"
[Archive] Bethesda’s website announcing the DOOM Eternal Collector’s Edition, stating it features “download codes for lossless digital copies of Mick Gordon’s DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal original soundtracks”
Tensions continued to rise, with managers allegedly resorting to “Bethesda’s legal history as clout” in some discussions with Gordon. His submitted work allegedly continued to be rejected even after DOOM Eternal was delayed, due to “late changes and additions.”

After allegedly ten months of no pay, and a deteriorating home life, Gordon demanded to be paid. Instead, he was allegedly told he was being difficult- specifically called a “ball-ache”- and “urged in no uncertain terms to carefully consider the destination my protest would lead to.” Gordon reluctantly continued to work.

The Doomslayer finds a toy of himself via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer finds a toy of himself via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

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By the end of November 2020, Gordon claims he was finally paid, despite id Software no longer speaking to him. Counting the rejected works, Gordon insists “by the end of the project, I’d delivered more than double the minutes stated in the contract.”

Gordon allegedly reached out once more to ask about the OST, but received no reply. Gordon then goes on to claim “It wasn’t until after DOOM Eternal was released that I became aware id Software had used nearly all the music I produced throughout development — almost five hours worth — while only paying for half of it.” He argues this “was a conscious decision.”

This was allegedly 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 1 second of unpaid work (while 2 hours and 22 minutes had been paid).

A Revenant on its last legs screams defiantly via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
A Revenant on its last legs screams defiantly via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“Rejected tracks, mockups, demos, ideas and sketches — a massive amount of additional music, well beyond the budget allocated in the contract, produced at their request and shared in good faith,” Gordon claims. “But, id Software included it all directly in-game, marketing, and updates without paying for it.” Gordon insists id Software still hasn’t paid him for this work.

“Clearly, the cycle of demanding and rejecting music, avoiding approvals and withholding pay was a strategy to elicit enormous amounts of unpaid work to compensate for their budgeting shortfalls,” Gordon claims.

The Doomslayer faces off against a Tyrant, Revenant, and zombies, with a Super Shotgun via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer faces off against a Tyrant, Revenant, and zombies, with a Super Shotgun via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

After allegedly six months of reaching out to id Software regarding the OST contract, Gordon reached out to Bethesda instead. In early January 2020, he emailed them about how he “tried raising the topic of a soundtrack discuss with the id Software team numerous times ever since it was announced at E3 2019 but my attempts haven’t been met with much enthusiasm.”

“As release is only a few short months away I wanted to reach out to you directly to see if we could get this thing off the ground. I’d really love to pour some time and energy into a soundtrack release that is worthy of the DOOM name and we still have time to make it an awesome release.” Gordon didn’t seem to elaborate on the full details of the issues he had.

Mick Gordon emails Bethesda over the Doom Eternal soundtrack and OST
Mick Gordon emails Bethesda over the DOOM Eternal soundtrack and OST

Bethesda allegedly gave a quick response, indicating they were “grateful” Gordon reached out, and happily discussed the OST. As Gordon allegedly negotiated a deal directly with Bethesda via emails, no id Software staff were included as the details of the OST were discussed over the following weeks. 

Gordon also allegedly demanded pay for a 2015 OST for another Bethesda game, which at the time he was allegedly told wouldn’t be sold after completion, only to be sold in 2019. Bethesda allegedly agreed to consolidate what was owed in with the pay for the DOOM Eternal OST.

The Doomslayer cuts through the burning carcass of a Doom Hunter via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer cuts through the burning carcass of a Doom Hunter via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Contrary to Stratton’s statement, Gordon claims during negotiations with Bethesda that he proposed the OST feature 30 tracks from the start – two hours in length as a similar scope to the DOOM (2016) OST. This was allegedly rejected, with Bethesda proposing 12 tracks.

The final draft terms from Bethesda – sent March 7th, 2020 – included the tracks being chosen by id Software and them having final approval, Gordon giving all relevant files, and the deadline of April 16th. Even then, Bethesda allegedly stated the deadline “was ideal, but if I needed more time, they would be happy to amend the contract later.” A bonus was offered as an incentive to produce by April 16th.

A Marauder that is mutilated, bloodied, and stunned via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
A Marauder that is mutilated, bloodied, and stunned via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon claims the OST’s delay was before he had even received a contract. This allegedly came via Bethesda parent company Zenimax 48 hours before DOOM Eternal launched. 

Gordon includes a screenshot of the alleged email, as evidence his contract began March 18th, 2020; contrary to Stratton’s claim “After discussions with Mick in January of this year, we reached general agreement on the terms.” Gordon claims “all parties signed the contract within hours.”

Zenimax Sends Mick Gordon his contract for the Doom Eternal OST
Zenimax Sends Mick Gordon his contract for the DOOM Eternal OST

Id Software allegedly gave no direction or expectations to Gordon, despite the contract, until April 3rd. Stratton allegedly emailed Gordon, insisting that the April 16th date absolutely needed to be met, highlighting consumer protection laws in some territories meaning they would be entitled to refund the Collector’s Edition (as it wouldn’t have all contents advertised).

“It dawned on me that I was being threatened,” Gordon claims. “Refunds meant financial losses. Marty [Stratton] was saying, in his view, I was legally liable for any loss id Software suffered due to customers claiming refunds over a late OST — if it wasn’t ready in thirteen days, they would come after me.”

UAC scientists stare in awe of the Doomslayer via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon claims if the consumer protection issues had been raised before he signed the contract, he would have refused it. Allegedly not being told until after he signed “made the whole thing feel like a setup to shift liability caused by selling the OST without a contract in the first place.”

This is also when Stratton allegedly revealed that id Sofware had been developing “an alternative OST, without me, for at least six-months,” edited together via Gordon’s in-game tracks by Mossholder. Gordon allegedly stated his “regret,” and insisted working together for a better result.

The Doomslayer fights an Arachnotron via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

While Stratoon allegedly didn’t respond, Mossholder did four days later, stating his work was almost complete. Gordon asked to hear what Mossholder had done, and was surprised to receive over 70 tracks.

Gordon felt it was clear Mossholder “had been working on it for some time,” as opposed to Stratton’s claim of it being done closer to the OST’s launch in April. Gordon supports this claim with a screenshot the alleged tracks’ BWF Metadata, showing some tracks had been created as early as August 2019.

Mick Gordon shows the alleged Metadata of tracks created by Chad Mossholder for the Doom Eternal OST
Mick Gordon shows the alleged Metadata of tracks created by Chad Mossholder for the DOOM Eternal OST

If true, this predates Gordon negotiating the OST contract, and six months prior to him receiving it. As DOOM Eternal was originally slated to launch November 22nd, 2019, Gordon proposes Mossholder “must have begun work on the OST in August to avoid the same consumer protection issues.”

Nonetheless, Gordon notes Mossholder’s efforts were “a mess,” proposing he “eyeballed in a slapdash way by copying audio files directly on top of each other.” As his edits “largely disregarded basic music fundamentals,” this resulted in “clicks, pops, clipping, abrupt tempo changes, awkward gaps and jarring transitions,” and even some tracks being just a loop ripped directly from the game.

The Doomslayer sees a Pinky from behind while armed with a rocket launcher via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer sees a Pinky from behind while armed with a rocket launcher via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Eight days before the now firm deadline, Gordon had to “pivot away from creating the best possible album, and do everything I could to avoid the repercussions Marty had threatened earlier.” To do so, he stuck to what he was contracted to do, and “reminded Marty my responsibility only extended as far as 12 songs and that finishing them would be my focus for the remaining eight days.”

Despite production going well, “on the final day, I encountered a system-related technical problem, and I contacted Bethesda to explain the situation,” Gordon claimed. “I had ten songs ready for handover, but a computer issue had halted progress. I needed 4–5 hours to fix it and bounce the final tracks.”

The Doomslayer fires the BFG-9000 at an Arch-vile via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer fires the BFG-9000 at an Arch-vile via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“Bethesda was understanding and granted the minor extension,” Gordon claims. However, Stratton allegedly “demanded an urgent group call across three different timezones to tell everyone he didn’t want these ten songs. He actually wanted other songs.” This was with the deadline being a mere five hours away, and after Gordon had already crunched 18–20 hour days.

“Despite ample time, Marty hadn’t given me any direction on the OST whatsoever. But now, at the absolute last possible minute, he actually wanted to do something about it,” Gordon claims. Gordon then explained it was too late to change being so close to the deadline, and he’d “prefer to use the little time remaining to work on the music rather than entertain his sudden last-minute interest in the OST.”

A Cacodemon belches after eating a frag grenade via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
A Cacodemon belches after eating a frag grenade via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

In response, Stratton reportedly “said they would release Chad’s version instead. He told me to hand over my tracks, and Chad would assemble the final OST.” Gordon did so while he “voiced my anxieties over Chad’s edits and hoped they had improved since the week before. I said they should ensure the album adheres to mastering standards and provided specific details in that regard.”

Gordon was then paid, along with his on-time bonus. However, “the final album, and its details, were withheld from me, and I wasn’t allowed to hear it before release,” Gordon claims. Hearing the final OST on launch, Gordon discovered “an additional 47 tracks” that had ” actually been made worse” than the examples he had heard earlier.

For example, “‘You Can’t Just Shoot A Hole Into The surface of Mars‘ [sic], starts with two separate sections playing directly on top of each other, but they’re out of sync.”

The Doomslayer about to shoot a hole in the surface of Mars with the BFG 10,000 via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer about to shoot a hole in the surface of Mars with the BFG 10,000 via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“Seeing Chad credited as co-artist on these tracks pissed me off,” Gordon states. “Credit theft (the act of taking credit for someone else’s work) is rampant in video game music. Chad didn’t write, arrange, perform, record or produce any of this music.”

“He carried out a copy-paste job, cutting apart finished music and resaving it. For this, the proper credit would be considered Music Editor. Yet, in some cases, such as Urdak (Track 8) and Deag Ranak (Track 15), he did nothing but change the filename,” Gordon claims.

Screenshot of the Doom Eternal OST, showing Mick Gordon and Chad Mossholder as authors
Screenshot of the DOOM Eternal OST, showing Mick Gordon and Chad Mossholder as authors

Once again, Gordon emphasized the claim the OST features his work that was rejected, and is still unpaid for, such as “Final Sin — Sandy City.” “This exact demo file was immediately rejected. In fact, Chad was part of the panel that rejected it,” Gordon claims. “But he included the file on the album and listed himself as a co-artist, despite having absolutely nothing to do with it.”

“More importantly, the song is based on a melody written by Bobby Prince, the composer of DOOM 2,” Gordon reveals, “who hasn’t been credited anywhere on the album.”

The Doomslayer has a Mancubus in the sights of the heavy cannon via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer has a Mancubus in the sights of the heavy cannon via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“Within hours of the release, Marty emailed me. He was frustrated at my lack of public support and deeply concerned the OST was attracting bad press,” Gordon claims. Stratton insisted on releasing a joint statement regarding the OST “that affirmed our commitment to doing something about it.”

Gordon was “skeptical of his intentions,” and “worried he was setting up the call for confrontation, not resolution.” Even so, Stratton “reassured me a positive outcome was his only focus,” insisting he “only wanted to overcome the situation with a professional and collaborative approach,” and not scorn Gordon or his work.

The Doomslayer slices through a Dread knight's back with a chainsaw via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer slices through a Dread knight’s back with a chainsaw via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Once Gordon accepted the call “straight away, it was clear Marty was angry with me. ‘Frankly, we’re too f—–g nice’, he snapped,” Gordon claims. Gordon stated he “approached the call like one should when dealing with a manager on the warpath: keep calm, listen intently, and express understanding but remain firm.”

“I could hear Marty making notes of my comments,” Gordon claims, “but rather than acknowledge my concerns, he jumped to the conclusion that I was initiating an attack. He grew suspicious and convinced himself the act of me explaining the problems was some sort of diabolical scheme to sow disunity and division.”

The Doomslayer jams the Doomblade into a gargoyle's skull via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer jams the Doomblade into a gargoyle’s skull via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Stratton allegedly tried and failed to bring Mossholder onto the call “for support,” and Gordon claims “it occurred to me that Marty didn’t really understand the issues and was trying to argue based on misperception.”

When Stratton allegedly brought up the consumer protection laws again, Gordon reminded him the OST was announced without his consultation, that he didn’t attempt to get him involved thereafter, and only discussed those very laws “13 days before the final deadline.”

The Doomslayer blasts an Arachnotron with a Ballista via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer blasts an Arachnotron with a Ballista via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

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Stratton allegedly justified that he was “trying to protect all of us,” but as Gordon “had not fallen in line, I was on my own. ‘As soon as people come after us, we come after you’, he said.”

Gorden felt that Stratton was acting as through Gordon’s contract “absolved him of any prior mismanagement that led to the situation in the first place.” Stratton allegedly accused Gordon of lying about the deadline and asserted that id Software were “rushing things,” then ignored Bethesda’s email and contract details when shown.

The Doomslayer finds the Powerup Mode: Overdrive cheat via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer finds the Powerup Mode: Overdrive cheat via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Stratton allegedly “expressed frustration” that the public believed Gordon wasn’t given enough time. When Gordon said working on the OST when announced would have prevented this outcome, Stratton allegedly continued to blame Gordon, “saying I would have messed it up some other way,” and continued to pin the entire OST’s failure on Gordon. 

Gordon “shot back that it wasn’t my decision to include 47 poorly edited tracks.” Stratton allegedly accused Gordon of failing to take responsibility, while Gordon insisted “there was absolutely no way I would take the fall for something I didn’t do.”

The Doomslayer looks out over hell on Earth from the Fortress of Doom via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer looks out over hell on Earth from the Fortress of Doom via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

After almost an hour, Gordon claims he and Stratton “ultimately agreed” they needed to quell the rumors, “calm fans and demonstrate unity.” Gordon told Stratton “the situation felt like an excellent opportunity to show how disputes should be resolved.”

After they “cleared the air,” the pair allegedly planned to work on a joint statement, at Stratton’s suggestion, with details on how they would fix the issue. Stratton allegedly asked Gordon to “hold off on all further public comments until we address the public together.” Gordon agreed, expecting a draft the next morning. 

The Doomslayer about to grab the head of a Dread Knight during a Glory Kill via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer about to grab the head of a Dread Knight during a Glory Kill via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Despite Gordon concluding Stratton “honestly wanted to resolve the issue in the most amicable way possible” after the meeting, the draft didn’t arrive, and Stratton’s open letter appeared on Reddit instead. 

“I was horrified. Not just at Marty turning his back on what was our agreed path forward but also at his shameless disregard for the truth in his attack: the Reddit post was littered with lies and disinformation which directly contradicted the actual events and contractual clauses,” Gordon claimed.

Multiple demons step forth, including a Tyrant, a Mancubus, a Revenant, an Arachnotron, and several soldiers via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
Multiple demons step forth, including a Tyrant, a Mancubus, a Revenant, an Arachnotron, and several soldiers via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Accusing Stratton of manipulating him and using the fan-made subreddit to “amplify his intent” of scapegoating him, Gordon also gave a “factual rebuttal” of the claims therein – reiterating much of the aforementioned.

Gordon also adds “the most substantial proof that Marty’s Reddit post is utter b——t is the fact that they paid me afterwards for fulfilling the contract.” He claims Stratton was on the panel that approved his final pay.  

The Doomslayer holds the Crucible aloft via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer holds the Crucible aloft via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“Marty’s narrative that he was compelled to publish an Open Letter on Reddit out of the necessity of protection is a manufactured threat that didn’t exist and was used to justify his actions,” Gordon claims.

“Because if any such threats did exist, Marty’s company has policies, procedures, safety protocols and security measures readily available to deal with such issues. Posting 2500+ words on Reddit to name, shame, and direct blame toward an individual (me in this case) is not one of those policies,” Gordon insists.

“And frankly, using the guise of ‘staff safety’ as an excuse to attack someone on Reddit is f—–g disgusting.”

The hell city of via Nekravol via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The hell city of via Nekravol via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Due to the allegedly false accusations made against him, and the OST allegedly featuring his unpaid work, Gordon “immediately had my legal representative contact id Software with complaints about both matters.” Stratton “forwarded my complaints to Zenimax,” leading to a reply several days later “from the executive legal authority from the upper echelons of the company.”

“Zenimax assumed that Marty had acted appropriately and denied needing to pay me for the additional music,” Gordon claims. Once he showed how Stratton’s claims contracted the contract, prior emails and phonecalls, the damage to his reputation, and the OST’s tracks, “they quickly offered to settle.”

The ballista fires a bolt of energy via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The ballista fires a bolt of energy via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

During settlement negotiations – with id Software and Zenimax using “a large multi-national law firm as representation -” Gordon’s request for Stratton to withdraw all his claims was allegedly denied. “They rejected this on Marty’s concern that if he admitted fault publicly, that would negatively affect his reputation,” Gordon claims.

Zenimax and id Software allegedly counter-proposed that they would pay Gordon what he was owed, but only if he produced a new DOOM Eternal OST, “appearing to suggest that if I gave them something to sell, that would somehow make up for the damage Marty had caused to my reputation.”

The Doomslayer's arsenal of weapons line the walls of the Fortress of Doom via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer’s arsenal of weapons line the walls of the Fortress of Doom via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon continued to insist Stratton recant his claims, but as he “realised his company was unlikely to agree to anything unless it was mutually beneficial,” he agreed to produce a new OST on the condition the Reddit post was taken down. “That prompted a spectacular meltdown,” Gordon claims.

“Their mood suddenly changed, and a threatening tone edged their letter of response.” The settlement was withdrawn, and they allegedly “vowed the Reddit post was just the beginning. Marty was willing to issue legal proceedings to use the court process to damage my reputation further,” Gordon claims.

The Doomslayer uses the Flame Belch to burn a frozen Mancubus via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer uses the Flame Belch to burn a frozen Mancubus via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

The alleged threatened legal action was “over times I had discussed DOOM Eternal publicly,” and “using DOOM Eternal on my portfolio.” This would mean Gordon would have to remove his YouTube streams and purge any mention of the game from his portfolio website.

“The letter then devolved into a bizarre rant that attempted to frame Marty’s behaviour not as wrongdoing but instead as something I deserved,” Gordon alleges. “But contrarily, that same letter presented me with a new settlement for damages caused anyway.”

A Revenant meekly offers the Super Shotgun via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
A Revenant meekly offers the Super Shotgun via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“The new settlement offer was a six-figure sum in return for taking full public responsibility for the failure of the OST,” Gordon claims. The terms also allegedly included the Reddit post remaining up “indefinitely” with no retraction, and Gordon refusing to ever discuss the matter nor criticize any Zenimax product or staff. 

Gordon refused to sign. “The truth is more important. I worked incredibly hard on the franchise, crunching for years to make it happen. My scores for both games were very successful: the companies who released them enjoyed the benefits.”

“To have all that thrown away by someone who blatantly lied to portray me as a person who brings ‘uncertainty and risk’ to any project, who now wanted to pay me off to preserve his reputation, was both troubling and hurtful.”

The Doomslayer blasts a cybernetically enhanced Tyrant with the automatic shotgun via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer blasts a cybernetically enhanced Tyrant with the automatic shotgun via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Gordon claims that online abuse towards him “escalated at an alarming rate” fueled by Stratton’s Reddit post with “toxic gamers” blaming him for the OST’s problems. This included doxxing, abusive phone calls and threats of violence and rape against him and his family, email-bombing, and harassing his clients “with attempts to get me fired from their projects.” 

“The spew of harassment coupled with legal threats from Marty put me under enormous strain. I began to feel isolated as the demands of the situation took their toll, and I desperately sought a way to resolve the matter,” Gordon claims.

A Cacodemon is sliced in half by the Ballista's destroyer blade via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
A Cacodemon is sliced in half by the Ballista’s destroyer blade via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

While rejecting the gag order, Gordon made his same offer again, hoping it “might persuade them to change their mind.” He also shared details of the alleged abuse he had endured.

While the lawyers insisted on time to discuss the offer, Gordon claims he was “subjected to every miserable delay tactic trick in the book” over months. They would agree to meetings, then allegedly cancel and reschedule for various reasons, all while insisting discussions were “heading in a positive direction.”

The Doomslayer pulls a Whiplash's head apart with his bare hands in a glory kill via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer pulls a Whiplash’s head apart with his bare hands in a glory kill via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

When the lawyers finally replied, they allegedly rejected the idea of Gordon doing the OST, “and instead demanded the gag order only.” “I looked at the email in dismay,” Gordon explains. “After months of delays, meeting cancellations and postponements, they arrived precisely at the same place they started.”

After Microsoft acquired Zenimax in September 2020, Gordon had fresh hope. He once again offered to make a better OST, in exchange for the Reddit post to be taken down with a “clarification” published, and paid for his works used in DOOM Eternal. Despite alleged promises of “key stakeholders” getting involved, once again the lawyers allegedly delayed.

“They even degenerated into gaslighting tactics, trying to convince me that removing the Reddit post would somehow make my situation worse.” 

The Khan Maykr speaks to other Maykrs before the Icon of Sin via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Khan Maykr speaks to other Maykrs before the Icon of Sin via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“They were unwavering in their insistence that the gag order was the only resolution possible, making it clear Marty had painted himself into a corner with no other way out,” Gordon claims. Fifteen months after the Reddit post had gone live, Gordon reached out to one of the Reddit moderators to take the post down.

After expressing the harm the post had done in a Discord call, the moderator stated he’d consider it. Gordon claims while the post was “instantly” taken down, it came back 12 hours later. “The moderator blocked me on Discord and didn’t reply to my emails.”

The Doomslayer kills a soldier while a player controlled Mancubus and Pain Elemental look on via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer kills a soldier while a player controlled Mancubus and Pain Elemental look on via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

Stratton’s lawyers allegedly contacted Gordon a few days later, stating that removing the post “greatly offended him,” and “made it clear in the strongest terms that an amicable resolution would be impossible.”

“Marty Stratton has put me in a position where the only step I can take to repair my reputation is with a public response,” Gordon concludes. “I never quit DOOM. I quit a toxic client.”

The Doomslayer stands before a soldier, Imp, and Mancubus with Chainsaw in hand via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Doomslayer stands before a soldier, Imp, and Mancubus with Chainsaw in hand via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

As reported by VGC, multiple Reddit threads seemed to side with Gordon’s version of events- all demanding “Justice For Mick.” Nonetheless, Bethesda wasn’t going to take the bad press lying down.

“The recent post by Mick Gordon both mischaracterized and misrepresented the team at id Software, the development of DOOM Eternal, Marty Stratton, and Chad Mossholder with a one-sided and unjust account of an irreparable professional relationship,” Bethesda claimed in a Twitter statement.

The Icon of Sin lays defeated before the Doomslayer via Doom Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks
The Icon of Sin lays defeated before the Doomslayer via DOOM Eternal (2020), Bethesda Softworks

“We are aware of all the details and history in this matter and unequivocally support Marty, Chad, and the team at id Software. We reject the distortion of the truth and selective presentation of incomplete ‘facts.’ We stand ready with full and complete documented evidence to disclose in an appropriate venue as needed,” Bethesda claim.

“The statements posted online have incited harassment and threats of violence against Marty, Chad, and the id Software team,” Bethesda insist. “Any threats or harassment directed towards members of our teams will be met with swift and appropriate action to protect their health and safety.”

“We remain incredibly proud of id’s previous collaborations with Mick Gordon and ask that fans refrain from reaching conclusions based on his account and, more importantly, from attacking any of the individuals mentioned on either side, including Marty, Chad, or Mick.”

Bethesda denies the allegations made by composer Mick Gordon over the Doom Eternal OST via Twitter
Bethesda denies the allegations made by composer Mick Gordon over the DOOM Eternal OST via Twitter

In response, Gordon reposted his statement as a reply to the tweet. “Marty Stratton, @idSoftware Studio Director, lied about @DOOM Eternal’s OST events in a Reddit post that used disinformation to blame me entirely for its failure. Later, he offered me a six-figure sum to never speak about it. The truth is more important.”

Mick Gordon shares his statement regarding Doom Eternal's OST via Twitter
Mick Gordon shares his statement regarding DOOM Eternal’s OST via Twitter

Who’s at fault? Speak out in the comments section below, or on social media, and have your say regarding this messy debacle. 

NEXT: Bethesda Delays Starfield And Redfall To First Half of 2023, Explains They Want Them To Be “The Best, Most Polished Versions”

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