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id Software pens open letter regarding the Doom Eternal OST and working with Mick Gordon

lrt75914

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That's not how it works in business
You don't announce something with it not being already a concrete plan; it's the best path for product development

If I don't have the dude contracted, I don't have a sure fire plan that the product I am guaranteeing customers or the investors will come to fruition. Fuck, Mick could've been like "Nawh, don't want to do the Doom Eternal OST."

Allotting time, planning everything, all that sort of stuff doesn't mean ANYTHING if you haven't ensured those plans will happen.
It'd be like stating you're going to have a building constructed, but not even having a construction contract up to bid on yet, and just having plans to create the contract up for bidding.

Sure, they could have gone with someone else to master the OST, but it's incredibly dumb and a complete risky move for investors to hop in a venture of "If we can get Mick," instead of "We have Mick."
It's a complete noob business mistake

Hence the damage control; plan your projects properly and you don't have to do dumb damage control.

EDIT: Fuck me and talking with people with similar names as people in the OP
I'm not sure I would agree. Mick was already under contract to work on
the soundtrack. Even if Mick had declined to work on the OST id Software
would have been well within their rights to master the OST themselves
for the soundtrack they already owned - which in the end they mostly did.
 
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sol_bad

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Was Mick only given 2 months to do the music? Isn't that a bit insane compared to the production of the actual game? 2 months is way too much pressure.
 
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This was what I was hoping wouldn't happen...airing of dirty laundry, and id just had to go and do it. Mick said a fucking sentence and they had to write a novel. All that spam doesn't make you look any better, just looks like you're damage controlling.
 

Cert.in.Death

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Talk about being candid. Unfortunate to see them break up like this, but both of them are better off for having crossed paths to begin with.
 

lrt75914

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Was Mick only given 2 months to do the music? Isn't that a bit insane compared to the production of the actual game? 2 months is way too much pressure.
As far as I can tell the soundtrack was being produced concurrently to the game. The 2 months in question were allotted to
mix and master the OST.

Edit: Im basing my assumption on the open letter. Take this with a grain of salt since I had no insight into the production of the game.
 
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iorek21

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That’s sad, but I guess that’s very common in the gaming industry.
However, I doubt that will impact id very much, there are probably a lot of great composers around
 

SirKicksalot

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Was Mick only given 2 months to do the music? Isn't that a bit insane compared to the production of the actual game? 2 months is way too much pressure.

2-3 months to mix the OST plus a 6 weeks extension. id's guy mixed it in 2 weeks and delivered 4 times as many tracks. Imagine being that guy, going straight from crunch to finishing this soundtrack and then having angry redditors screaming at you.

The first part of the letter says that around E3 2019 there were "ongoing issues receiving the music we needed for the game ".
 

kiphalfton

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I think they gave him reasonable accommodation, given the fact that he himself asked for a 4 week extension, was given 6 weeks, and yet he still wasn't able to deliver on time. I mean ffs, at what point do you say enough is enough? The fact that he kept trying to push out the deadline says more about him, and his commitment to id, than anything.
 

Inviusx

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Sad but 2016's OST is so much better anyway.

Think this a good opportunity to for DOOM to find a new sound.
 

sol_bad

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As far as I can tell the soundtrack was being produced concurrently to the game. The 2 months in question were allotted to
mix and master the OST.

Edit: Im basing my assumption on the open letter. Take this with a grain of salt since I had no insight into the production of the game.

So the ingame music of 12 tracks was completed at a much earlier date and it was just the CD OST that needed to be worked on? The open letter makes it sound like he worked on those 12 tracks in that 2 month time frame. The open letter is even confusing if you ask me.

2-3 months to mix the OST plus a 6 weeks extension. id's guy mixed it in 2 weeks and delivered 4 times as many tracks. Imagine being that guy, going straight from crunch to finishing this soundtrack and then having angry redditors screaming at you.

The first part of the letter says that around E3 2019 there were "ongoing issues receiving the music we needed for the game ".

Ongoing issues receiving the music. But a contract was only reached in February 2020? They were expecting Mick to work without a contract?
And how do we know Chad hadn't been working on the music the entire time?

It does feel like they were trying to take advantage of Mick without a contract. Either way, it's the company and Mick's issue, the fans shouldn't get involved.

I haven't bought Doom Eternal yet because I don't want to pay $99AUD for it. Waiting for a $70AUD price point. Once it hits that point I'll still buy it, more people than just Mick made it and I can't boycott it over one person.
 

Patrick S.

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So the ingame music of 12 tracks was completed at a much earlier date and it was just the CD OST that needed to be worked on? The open letter makes it sound like he worked on those 12 tracks in that 2 month time frame. The open letter is even confusing if you ask me.



Ongoing issues receiving the music. But a contract was only reached in February 2020? They were expecting Mick to work without a contract?
And how do we know Chad hadn't been working on the music the entire time?

It does feel like they were trying to take advantage of Mick without a contract. Either way, it's the company and Mick's issue, the fans shouldn't get involved.

I haven't bought Doom Eternal yet because I don't want to pay $99AUD for it. Waiting for a $70AUD price point. Once it hits that point I'll still buy it, more people than just Mick made it and I can't boycott it over one person.
It would also be a very Resetera and dumb thing to fucking boycott a game because the music composer failed to produce... music in the agreed upon and then further extended time. What's it to you? FFS
 
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SirKicksalot

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Mick was initially contracted to deliver music for the game and then they signed a second contract for an album.

The game music is delivered in chunks written for specific levels and situations. They are dynamically mixed by the engine according to Chad's design. For the album they have to take those chunks, polish and arrange them in actual songs with progression etc. For example, the 2016 soundtrack includes a short remix of the Doom 3 theme at 51:43. That was written for combat somewhere in the Argent Tower level. When the soundtrack album was made it was neatly inserted in a track that combines Argent Tower music. Compare it to how it was mixed by some guy who ripped the Argent combat tracks from the game files (I actually prefer this version but the sound quality is poor).

For Eternal, Chad had to do what the random guy linked above did, with better quality files, but not as good as Mick's. Mick did not provide his master files and I assume id could not get them because their contract was poorly written. Chad used Mick's pre-mixed and compressed files.
 

YCoCg

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The thing that still confuses me though is how for the actual Soundtrack release they didn't get Mick to do the final mixing, in terms of audio work that's less than a weeks worth of work when you're the main composer as you already bloody know where things go. Bethesda and iD going off and doing their own mix for the OST just seems so weird.
 

wipeout364

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That was an interesting read, certainly gives a different take on the situation. I appreciate Marty coming to the defense of one of his employees, he’s always seemed like a good guy to me.
 

RumpledStillSkin

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This was what I was hoping wouldn't happen...airing of dirty laundry, and id just had to go and do it. Mick said a fucking sentence and they had to write a novel. All that spam doesn't make you look any better, just looks like you're damage controlling.

If you took the time to read the actual letter, you'd see the primary reason they released it was because the co-editor of the soundtrack (Chad) was subject to many online rumors and harassment campaigns, and the guy's boss (Marty) wanted to clear up all the accusations and unfounded harassment his employee was getting.
 
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So the ingame music of 12 tracks was completed at a much earlier date and it was just the CD OST that needed to be worked on? The open letter makes it sound like he worked on those 12 tracks in that 2 month time frame. The open letter is even confusing if you ask me.



Ongoing issues receiving the music. But a contract was only reached in February 2020? They were expecting Mick to work without a contract?
And how do we know Chad hadn't been working on the music the entire time?

It does feel like they were trying to take advantage of Mick without a contract. Either way, it's the company and Mick's issue, the fans shouldn't get involved.

I haven't bought Doom Eternal yet because I don't want to pay $99AUD for it. Waiting for a $70AUD price point. Once it hits that point I'll still buy it, more people than just Mick made it and I can't boycott it over one person.

All the music had already been recorded. He was meant to take the in-game music and arrange it into a soundtrack as well as re-mixing it and so forth. They gave him multiple extensions and he eventually agreed to let it be a collaborative effort between him and iD's guy because he was having trouble meeting the deadlines. After delivering what was expected from him and allowing iD to do the rest he then complained about it on Twitter despite having agreed to it.
 
Jul 29, 2013
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All the music had already been recorded. He was meant to take the in-game music and arrange it into a soundtrack as well as re-mixing it and so forth. They gave him multiple extensions and he eventually agreed to let it be a collaborative effort between him and iD's guy because he was having trouble meeting the deadlines. After delivering what was expected from him and allowing iD to do the rest he then complained about it on Twitter despite having agreed to it.
Regrettfully, I did read it. Point stands...it's airing of dirty laundry and damage control. Could have kept it professional and summed it up amicably and succinctly. When dealing with PR, you always must ask, "Does this help or hurt my position?" This is a case of saying too much.
 
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Regrettfully, I did read it. Point stands...it's airing of dirty laundry and damage control. Could have kept it professional and summed it up amicably and succinctly. When dealing with PR, you always must ask, "Does this help or hurt my position?" This is a case of saying too much.

But part of it was about them trying to get Mick to clear things up himself publicly and he wasn't doing so. If Mick is fostering an online environment where Chad is being harassed and is doing nothing to address it what do you expect them to do?
 
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When asked on social media about his future with DOOM, Mick has replied, “doubt we’ll work together again.” This was surprising to see, as we have never discussed ending our collaboration

And then in the very next paragraph it says that communication around "production-related realities" had created an "unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk."

So, they were surprised to hear that Mick doubts they'll be working together again when they claim the partnership was problematic and unsustainable?

 
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RumpledStillSkin

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Regrettfully, I did read it. Point stands...it's airing of dirty laundry and damage control. Could have kept it professional and summed it up amicably and succinctly. When dealing with PR, you always must ask, "Does this help or hurt my position?" This is a case of saying too much.

I think this post very much applies to you

Why is a thorough explanation of facts suddenly viewed as negative?

If it was a novella, you'd complain that details were left out. If it was even shorter, the internet would lambast the claims and label them "unfounded."

Basically, id is in a no-win situation here. Mick is highly regarded, blindly so as evidenced by some in this thread. If they respond with thoroughness, they are viewed as "rambling." If they don't respond, they have something to hide.
 
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lrt75914

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The thing that still confuses me though is how for the actual Soundtrack release they didn't get Mick to do the final mixing, in terms of audio work that's less than a weeks worth of work when you're the main composer as you already bloody know where things go. Bethesda and iD going off and doing their own mix for the OST just seems so weird.
For the ingame soundtrack the final mix has to be handled by the engine itself since the music is supposed
to dynamically adapt to the gameplay. The mixing for the OST was supposed to be handled by Mick Gordon.
He, however, could not deliver the entire soundtrack on the contractually agreed upon date - including a
6 week extension that was given per his request - so part of the mixing duty was taken up by their inhouse
sound design guy. Mick even agreed to Chad's involvement, yet criticized the guy for the way he mixed
the remaining arrangements.
 
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lrt75914

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Think whatever you want. The fact you're having to damage control for the damage control using baseless assumptions shows that the novel they wrote didn't have the desired effect.
If you don't mind my asking. How would you have handled the entire situation?

Edit: Sorry for the double post.
 
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If you don't mind my asking. How would you have handled the entire situation?

Edit: Sorry for the double post.
I don't mind at all, but I already said: amicably and succinctly. 2300 words full of double-speak is neither, and it doesn't have the desired effect.
 

Punished Miku

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If you've ever been in a band, this all sounds way too familiar and it can drag on for literally years.

Mick always seemed like more of a "band" musician and less of a composer. Struggling to just put together 12 tracks. That's a full band album, but is actually fairly small for OSTs.

Makes you really realize how much of a machine some of the traditional Japanese composers are that out out 4 disc 80 track Final Fantasy albums a dozen times in their career, and then lots of other stuff on the side. Just machine-like output.
 

lrt75914

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I don't mind at all, but I already said: amicably and succinctly. 2300 words full of double-speak is neither, and it doesn't have the desired effect.
But wouldn't you agree that nothing short of a full account would leave enough wiggle
room for the internet to interpret the story in every which way it wants. I understand that
airing your grievances in such a public forum is less than optimal. But if the letter
gives a full and correct account of the story they already tried to patch things up
privately.
 
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TriSuit666

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Then don’t commit to deadlines you can’t meet, say someone else’s work is fine, then publicly throw them under the bus. Mick sounds like an ass to work with, talented though he may be

I work in a similar field, I wouldn't want to be the one to pick up the projects and try and run with them if I had no understanding of the creative process behind them, and the nature of a client is as a client does.

Unfortunately for Gordon, the client owns the work and they are free to do what they like with it, even if that includes butchering it completely.
 

DrScissorsMD

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All the “duurrrrrr too long to read” and Mick dick-sucking comments are embarrassing. I like his music as much as the next guy but if you can’t take five minutes and the smallest amount of reading comprehension to get an informed opinion beyond “me no read, me like music, company bad” then you should frankly get fucked.
 

lrt75914

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All the “duurrrrrr too long to read” and Mick dick-sucking comments are embarrassing. I like his music as much as the next guy but if you can’t take five minutes and the smallest amount of reading comprehension to get an informed opinion beyond “me no read, me like music, company bad” then you should frankly get fucked.
I guess a lot of people are fed up with the typical spiel by pr departments of some
large game developers and publishers. They usually talk a lot, say very little and try
to shift the blame to someone else.
Especially Bethesda has been guilty of this type of behavior in recent memory. It's
unfortunate that such shenanigans have made people numb to the possibility that
an open letter, such as it was released by Marty, could be genuine.
 
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PhoenixTank

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Sounds reasonable to me. Not quite a comedy of errors, but does sound like a common result when projects start to go off the rails.
Hope Mick offers up his side too and maybe they'll reconcile.
 

sol_bad

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If you've ever been in a band, this all sounds way too familiar and it can drag on for literally years.

Mick always seemed like more of a "band" musician and less of a composer. Struggling to just put together 12 tracks. That's a full band album, but is actually fairly small for OSTs.

Makes you really realize how much of a machine some of the traditional Japanese composers are that out out 4 disc 80 track Final Fantasy albums a dozen times in their career, and then lots of other stuff on the side. Just machine-like output.

In all fairness they probably have more than 2 months to do everything.
Mick shouldn't have agreed to that time frame. Simple as that.
 
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get fucked marty, mick is a god

Did you even read the article? If it's to be believed, Mick is the one that acted unprofessional and like a dick and he was the one that caused fire where there was none. He is bitching about not wanting to be a part of the OST becuase it wasnt him who edited those tracks in the end and he was unhappy but the ID guys gave him plenty of time and extensions to do it on his own. He couldnt make multiple deadlines and he still throws a bitch fit. As far as Im concerned, fuck Mick.
 

cheezcake

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Non PR TLDR for people with low attention spans.
  1. Mick misses his OG deadline
  2. ID extends it and let’s him keep his bonus if he delivers even though this puts them in a legally precarious position as the CE version of the game now releases without soundtrack which they promised earlier
  3. Mick misses the next deadline.
  4. ID asks theabsolute Chad of an audio designer to start preparing backup tracks without access to any of the source files.
  5. Mick misses another deadline.
  6. Soundtrack is released with Chads tracks.
  7. Mick posts passive aggressive comments online about how he’s not happy with the soundtrack quality.
  8. Internet virgins start screaming at Chad and ID about how they fucked Mick over.
Chad deserves better. I wanna hear Micks side but it doesn’t look good for him.
 
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Sorry bros, but you can write and entire book of all the why's and how's and if's.

No Mick no Money. Won't be buying the DLC and sure as fuck won't be buying another Doom title

So you're cool with one guy holding an entire game hostage? Where's Mick Gordon's respect for his fans here? If this letter is to be believed, Gordon's heavily at fault here and id nearly bent over backward to accommodate him. This behavior is unbecoming of a professional and should not be rewarded.
 

Nikana

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This sounds like Mick was given the benefit of doubt many times. The part where he emails them the morning of it's due saying he needs more time after he already got it is pretty ridiculous.

It sounds like it was put off over and over for whatever reason, good or bad, and the deadline just couldn't be met.

ID had every opportunity to cut ties and leave but they obviously saw the quality Mick brought to the 2016 and wanted it to be there again for Eternal and did everything they could to make it happen which is something I doubt very few developers would do.
 
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Not reading all that shit.

Who knew a Doom soundtrack post would contend for a Pulitzer Prize.

Here's a tip for getting less corporate ramblings and peeved workers on Twitter/Reddit which gamers can influence..... stop giving these attention whores the time of day.

Like everyone with beefs with management, let them squabble in closed door meetings.

Remember.... just because one party starts off social meeting battles doesn't mean they are right.
 
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All the music had already been recorded. He was meant to take the in-game music and arrange it into a soundtrack as well as re-mixing it and so forth. They gave him multiple extensions and he eventually agreed to let it be a collaborative effort between him and iD's guy because he was having trouble meeting the deadlines. After delivering what was expected from him and allowing iD to do the rest he then complained about it on Twitter despite having agreed to it.
If that's what happened, and from what I read somewhere, Mick Gordon got full credit. Turns out some people didn't like the tracks, so he feels burned because his name in the credits makes it sound it like it was all him.

But let's say everyone loved the remixes, he'd get full credit and that unknown id audio guy would be invisible.

Sounds like Mick wanted time extensions and sole credit only if everyone loved the tracks.
 
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SirKicksalot

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In all fairness they probably have more than 2 months to do everything.
Mick shouldn't have agreed to that time frame. Simple as that.

He delivered the 31 tracks of the Doom OST in September 2016. The game was released in May. Bethesda had no idea Doom would be a hit so I assume they contracted him for the OST a couple of weeks after the game was released.

He was contracted to deliver at least 12 tracks in 2 months for Eternal. He got an extra month a half. On the final day he confirmed he'd deliver 12 tracks. Then he said the dog ate his homework and provided 9 tracks, 8 of which were ambient, with two additional tracks in another day and another one even later.

In the summer of 2016 he should have been working on Prey and Wolfenstein TNC and still got the Doom OST done fast.
Maybe he pulled a Colonial Marines on id.
He worked on Borderlands 3, which might explain why id had issues obtaining tracks last summer.

Or maybe he does too much heroin and fried his brain.

IMO the Doom soundtrack has some nice tunes but, just like the game, it was the right thing at the right time and got more attention and praise than it deserved. Sonic Mayhem's Quake work is better. The five minutes of music in Doom 3 are better. Trent Reznor's Quake OST is better (and better than like half of NIN's output lol).
The expansions will probably be handled by the Quake Champions guy, apparently Reddit likes him. I'd bring back the classic composers for the next games. I mean, how expensive can Trent Reznor be if he makes music for shitty Netflix releases and Call of Duty?
 
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gtrwll

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This was an interesting read, although I haven’t played either of the new Doom games. I have heard the first OST though , and frankly that people describe it as generic heavy metal is on point. Production is top notch, but that’s modern heavy metal sound for ya, it needs to be produced well.
 
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So you're cool with one guy holding an entire game hostage? Where's Mick Gordon's respect for his fans here? If this letter is to be believed, Gordon's heavily at fault here and id nearly bent over backward to accommodate him. This behavior is unbecoming of a professional and should not be rewarded.

Worst is, Mick and his music are the smallest part in creating the whole game. So when a composer is as you say holding game hostage its like..get off your high horse. I like the music he made before but I think after the Doom 2016 OST he got so many eyeballs on him and now he thinks he is a rockstar. No dude, you are a hired gun, meet the deadline, get paid, we have a whole game to deliver, not gonna compromise everything because of an OST.
 
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If that's what happened, and from what I read somewhere, Mick Gordon got full credit. Turns out some people didn't like the tracks, so he feels burned because his name in the credits makes it sound it like it was all him.

But let's say everyone loved the remixes, he'd get full credit and that unknown id audio guy would be invisible.

Sounds like Mick wanted time extensions and sole credit only if everyone loved the tracks.

They did credit Chad but it's a lesser credit on his tracks.
 

CRAIG667

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What baffles me is that Mick Gordon was unable to finish the soundtrack on time.
Most of the music for the game must have been in place once 2020 came rolling
around. Even if he needed to rework some of the arrangements, 4 Months seems
plenty enough time to finish an OST album.
4 months IS NOT MUCH TIME!
 
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I disagree, in a great game the score is just as important as other key parts of the game.

Music gives a game vibe thats correct. However nobody would care about Tony Hawks Pro Skater no matter how good the OST is if the gameplay was shit. Theres literally 500 people working on the game (developers, programers, graphic designers, character artists etc) and you are telling me them and the fans all need to wait on one shitty composer? No, you are 1/50th of the whole puzzle and if everybody else caught up to their deadline you arent God to say otherwise. I honestly hope they never work with Mick again, theres plenty of talented composers out there that make awesome music. Its only because DOOM 2016 was such a huge surprise in quality and gameplay + the music was the perfect fit. He is very replaceable.
 
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Panajev2001a

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Music gives a game vibe thats correct. However nobody would care about Tony Hawks Pro Skater no matter how good the OST is if the gameplay was shit. Theres literally 500 people working on the game (developers, programers, graphic designers, character artists etc) and you are telling me them and the fans all need to wait on one shitty composer? No, you are 1/50th of the whole puzzle and if everybody else caught up to their deadline you arent God to say otherwise. I honestly hope they never work with Mick again, theres plenty of talented composers out there that make awesome music. Its only because DOOM 2016 was such a huge surprise in quality and gameplay + the music was the perfect fit. He is very replaceable.

I would not compare how THPS and DOOM 2016 fare with their music. Great works of art are greater than the sums of their parts. I would say that the music and artstyle (and game design a bit) of DOOM go hand in hand, they feel connected. Not understanding it is IMHO not understanding how surprisingly the game had the success it had.

Can they find a new composer, sure. Can the new composer ape the previous soundtrack? Perhaps, but it will likely be uninspiring and thus may very well disappoint (you want the whole game to evolve coherently).
They could find a new composer who has his or her own vision for the music and sounds of the game, but that will also need a shift in the game’s art design a bit.

From limited multiplayer, no snap map, issues with the soundtrack,last minute delay, etc... it feels like the studio was pressured into getting a sequel to DOOM2016 out soon, to strike when the iron is hot, etc... feels like the game was rushed out perhaps a bit sooner than it should have.
 

rofif

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That mick guy is one note anyway. Some good tracks in 2016 but in 2020 Doom, I liked ambiet music much more than fighting music. It's too much in Your face. it's obnoxious.
And if they really used his music not as stated in the contract, then just take them to court. YOu get paid to make few tracks... why does it matter how they use it if everyone still fucking praises You to heaven? Be happy, collect money and don't ruin everything for Yourself
 
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