Mick Gordon shares statement about Marty Stratton and Doom Eternal

Gordon talks about enduring crunch while working on Doom Eternal, being without pay for 11 months, and more.


Composer Mick Gordon shared a statement today in which he talks about some of the difficult circumstances that he endured while working on Doom Eternal. The statement comes as a direct response to id Software Studio Director Marty Stratton’s open letter on the Doom Eternal OST published to Reddit back in May of 2020.

According to Gordon, Stratton outright lied about the circumstances surrounding Doom Eternal’s OST and “used disinformation and innuendo” to blame Gordon for its failure. Additionally, Stratton reportedly offered Gordon a six-figure settlement to never speak about it publicly.

As for what Gordon was discouraged from talking about specifically, his statement opens by remarking on how id Software handed him a music schedule requiring “two levels scored per month.” Even though release of the game was two years away at that point, the schedule demanded Gordon deliver “a steady stream of final music immediately.”

Doom Eternal image showing Doom Guy holding and inspecting his helmet
© id Software

Gordon suggested a schedule change, but this ended up being struck down by Stratton.

Because Stratton refused to budge on the schedule, Gordon stuck with it, pulling all-nighters despite there being 18 months left before the game’s release. As the game took shape during the development process, Gordon’s previous concerns were seemingly proven valid as his guesswork on the compositions no longer fit.

As the situation surrounding Doom Eternal’s soundtrack continued to escalate, Gordon reports being shut out of meetings, his emails going unanswered, and things like the mandated file transfer system auto-deleting music files every two weeks.

Doom Eternal screenshot showing several enemies being electrocuted
© id Software

Outside of crunch, Gordon also experienced issues when it came to getting paid for the work that he’d done due to id Software not liking what he’d delivered.

He goes on to note that the audio team grew increasingly reluctant to sign off on anything that he delivered and began withholding approvals (and payment) for months, with Gordon stating that starting in January of 2019, he went 11 months without pay.

The statement contains mention of other problematic situations including Stratton announcing the release of Doom Eternal on November 22 alongside a special Collector’s Edition featuring “Mick Gordon’s original Doom Eternal soundtrack.” Pre-orders for the Collector’s Edition were immediately available and sold out within days, even though the standalone OST wasn’t in production at the time. Gordon hadn’t even been offered a contract to produce it.

Doom Eternal image showing character facing off against a large, flaming enemy
© id Software

Once Doom Eternal was released Gordon came to find out that id Software used “nearly all the music” he’d produced throughout development “almost five hours worth” despite only paying for half that.

All in all, the statement from Gordon on the rocky development of Doom Eternal's soundtrack is eye-opening and packed full of other disconcerting details. For more of what Gordon went through, be sure to read through his full statement.

Also brush up on some of our previous coverage including Doom Eternal Composer Mick Gordon expressing discontent with id & Bethesda back in 2020, and the original open letter from Doom Eternal producer Marty Stratton in 2020 on the controversy surrounding the game’s soundtrack.

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Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 9, 2022 10:35 AM

    Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Mick Gordon shares statement about Marty Stratton and Doom Eternal

    • reply
      November 9, 2022 10:47 AM

      This is laced with napalm. No way this doesn’t result in a lawsuit.

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        November 9, 2022 10:53 AM

        It sounds like Mick has the receipts for this whole thing. So yeah I guess Microsoft could use their lawyers to grind Mick in to the dirt via legal fees, but I expect they are going to end up quietly paying Mick for his work, and Marty posting a retraction.

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          November 9, 2022 11:40 AM

          You don’t think mick didn’t try to negotiate for a big payout?

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            November 9, 2022 11:59 AM

            In the article it says he was offered a 6 figure payout. But Mick turned it down because Marty wouldn't delete the initial reddit post or post a retraction.

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              November 9, 2022 12:03 PM

              Under https://medium.com/@mickgordon/my-full-statement-regarding-doom-eternal-5f98266b27ce#2570

              Settlement offer negotiations
              id Software and Zenimax engaged a large multi-national law firm as representation, and we began settlement negotiations. I demanded Marty withdraw his false accusations and issue an apology. But they rejected this on Marty’s concern that if he admitted fault publicly, that would negatively affect his reputation.

              Instead, they proposed a deal: they would pay me the money owed, but on the condition I produce a new, polished version of the 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.

              But lawyers acting on Marty’s behalf expressed worry that even removing the post would reflect poorly on his reputation, which struck me as profoundly hypocritical: he should have thought about that before posting it in the first place.

              In response, I told them my acceptance of their settlement offer was tied to the condition that Marty would remove the post immediately.

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              November 9, 2022 6:44 PM

              I don't see what good deleting the post would do. It was mass reported in every gaming newd media that exists.

              He should have just pushed for a clarification.

              Going to the subreddit mod was a terrible idea.

              Posting this breakdown is a bad idea. His lawyers have failed him if this is his last resort.

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                November 9, 2022 11:33 PM


                he’s dragging this piece of shit publicly

                even if he gets nothing else, marty’s name will be dragged alongside this

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                November 10, 2022 3:09 AM

                I think you're wrong about all of that. As long as the post is up you can consider it the official line from Marty and Id. The need for it's removal is obvious.

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                  November 10, 2022 4:23 AM

                  A correction serves the same purpose. Reddit is a neutral ground, removing the post serves no benefit. Someone searching Mick's name is going to hit a bunch of articles about that post.

                  The subreddit has tagged Marty's post as "misleading" and linked to Mick's rebuttal in a pinned comment. I think that's a fair compromise and something I am sure they would have done if a correction was posted by Id or Zenimax.

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                    November 10, 2022 5:12 AM

                    Reddit is its own thing, but I don't know how you can think not removing the post is okay or not helpful.

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          November 9, 2022 11:20 PM

          Or just wait a week and no one will be talking about this.

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            November 10, 2022 2:21 AM

            Marty is the studio director at id. The story will die down after a week but will flare back up whenever Marty pokes his head out until it is addressed. Including when id announces their new game.

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          November 9, 2022 11:43 PM

          holy shit you werent joking

          this is an insane read

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        November 9, 2022 2:50 PM

        *Gunshots* /sample of Adrian Carmack: "fuck marty"
        "Ayo, I know you ain't talking 'bout me, dog, you? What?"...

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        November 9, 2022 11:32 PM


        fuck marty

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      November 9, 2022 10:49 AM

      Marty sounds like a complete asshole, damn.

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      November 9, 2022 10:52 AM

      Hot damn this is what they meant by nuclear strikes

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      November 9, 2022 1:18 PM

      The letter on Medium is absolutely damning, holy shit. The table of contents by itself is crazy

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        November 9, 2022 1:59 PM

        Yeah it's worth reading all of it

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      November 9, 2022 1:32 PM

      Get Phil Spencer on this, ASAP!

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        November 9, 2022 4:54 PM


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        November 9, 2022 7:40 PM

        I mean, guy's corporate to the gills, he'll side with id, although he'd likely shut his mouth before that

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      November 9, 2022 2:28 PM

      Got to the "alternative OST" part, what a mess 😬

      Will finish reading tonight.

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