‘DOOM’ composer claims he was “humiliated” by studio director’s “lies”

Doom Eternal. Credit: id Software.

Doom Eternal composer Mike Gordon has claimed he was “humiliated” by studio director Marty Stratton’s “lies”.

Back in 2020, Stratton took to Reddit to share an open letter about the release of the Doom Eternal soundtrack and lead audio designer Chad Mossholder’s involvement with it. According to Stratton, Gordon was unable to meet numerous deadlines and Mossholder stepped in to “take all of the music as Mick had delivered for the game, edit the pieces together into tracks, and arrange those tracks into a comprehensive OST.”

Mossholder was credited as a “contributing artist”, while Gordon was the sole composer and album artist.

In a new open-letter, Mike Gordon has claimed that Stratton “made allegations against me that directly contradicted the actual events, contractual terms, public announcements and contents of emails and calls.”

“Marty’s post severely impacted my professional & personal reputation. In releasing this statement, I’m exercising my right to defend myself,” Gordon wrote. “It is a defence, not an unprovoked attack, issued with extreme reluctance only after all other attempts to resolve the matter have failed.”

“Marty lied about the circumstances surrounding the ‘Doom Eternal Soundtrack’ and used disinformation and innuendo to blame me entirely for its failure,” starts the open-letter before Gordon claims Stratton “offered me a six-figure settlement to never speak about it.”

“As far as I’m concerned, the truth is more important,” he continued.

The letter – which can be read in full here – goes into detail about how development on the soundtrack allegedly started on the back foot and how two months in, “it was clear the schedule wasn’t going to work.”

“It was a masterpiece in Excel but a disaster in reality. The requirement to write, perform, record, produce, mix, master and implement two levels of music — with feedback rounds — every 30 days, when the levels themselves were bare-bone, now looked ridiculous.”

Gordon claims he “proposed an alternative plan that reflected the reality of development” but Stratton “rejected my belief that the current schedule was flawed and suggested my act of trying to do something about it was a sign of incompetence. Refusing to accept the reality of the situation, he threw the proposal back in my face and proceeded to tear me down for having the audacity to raise the issue in the first place.”

Gordon then goes into issues with pay, claiming id Software “used nearly all the music I produced throughout development — almost five hours worth – while only paying for half of it.”

“Even worse, id Software still refuses to pay for it, despite the fact their contract guarantees payment for any additional minute requested beyond the original budget.”

After going into detail about the release of the soundtrack and the poor response it got, as well as the legal back and forth Gordon endured with id Software, the letter explains how Gordon was subjected to “online abuse” which “escalated at an alarming rate as Marty’s Reddit post led to frustration over my alleged professional failure, and toxic gamers grew openly aggressive.”

“I began receiving specific expressions of violence, the content so vivid it made me sick. The torrent of abuse  […] really started to wear me down in ways I couldn’t previously imagine,” he continued.

Multiple attempts to get the Reddit post taken down failed, and offers to produce a new version of the soundtrack were rejected, claims Gordon.

“I have given Marty ample opportunity to correct the false accusations he made against me, and all I’ve asked for is the truth and to be paid for my work. Stubborn refusal to address his Reddit post, out of fear for his image, has crippled Marty’s ability to offer anything but a gag order.”

“The only thing left to do is issue this public response,” finished Gordon. Id Software, Bethesda and Stratten are yet to respond.

In other news, the European Commission has opened an “in-depth investigation” into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

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