DOOM Music Producer Goes To Court Due To Reddit Post



Doom Eternal Cover

J. Zheng, Staff Writer

Doom is a video game series and media franchise created by John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud, and Tom Hall. The company that created it is I Software and was published by Bethesda.

Mick Gordon is an Australian composer, record producer, musician, and sound designer, composing music primarily for video games. Some of the games he composed for were the DOOM series, Killer Instinct, Wolfenstein, and Need for Speed

Along with the release of DOOM Eternal they released an official soundtrack (OST). However, this wasn’t up to expectations and many fans were disappointed. 

In a Reddit post made by executive producer Marty Stratton. It mentions Mick was assigned to make the soundtrack but was only able to mix about 12 of the tracks and had to hire another audio engineer to do the other 47 tracks. They asked Mick to finish within a certain time frame but he couldn’t and they had to release it because they own it to the people that bought it and they decided to stop working with Mick. 

On November 9, 2022, Mick Gordan came out with a tweet claiming Marty Stratton lied about what happened in the Reddit post and claimed they offered him six figures to never speak about it.

The Truth

Mick was on a contract to make 2 songs every month around two years before release. However he was asked to make the finished music to match the gameplay. But the game wasn’t finished. The level wasn’t finished nor the story. In short he was asked to create finalized music that would match a game that wasn’t complete. With nothing to work with he tries to create music that he thinks will match the level. Mick, knowing this was impractical, sent an email suggesting a better plan. However Marty rejected the idea and “proceeded to tear me down for having the audacity to raise the issue in the first place”. As the game was taking shape, much of the guesswork done by Mick didn’t fit and “weeks of work got thrown into the trash, and calls for urgent rewrites came amid milestones already packed tight”.

More Issues

Due to levels having players explore and wonder, the original 30 seconds of exploration music wouldn’t cut it. When Mick pointed this out and asked for a bigger budget, id Software decided to “reallocated minutes from the game’s combat music pool, meaning other areas had less music as a result.” Another thing was Mick Gordon wasn’t being paid. “After working eight months without pay, I was paid in January 2019, but after that I wasn’t paid again for 11 months”.

DOOM Eternal OST was announced by Bethesda’s E3 Showcase on June 6, 2019. (E3 is a trade event for the video industry). Mick wasn’t aware of an OST. He wasn’t even offered a contract for the OST nor did anyone discuss it with him. Mick went to Marty about the OST. However Marty refused to give Mick a contract because he doesn’t “want to cause a distraction”.Mick pushed on about the issue but Marty “shut the conversation down. He also didn’t leave me with any alternative plan: clearly, there wasn’t one”. He continues to be asked to make more music by management. The game gets delayed from October 2019 to March 2020, id Software rejected more work and asked for more music.

Money Issue

However, Mick hasn’t been paid in 10 months. He refused to do anymore work until he gets paid. “The ever-increasing demands for work coupled with ongoing crunch and lack of pay had taken a significant toll on my family and me”. After getting paid they claim Mick was the one being difficult. After he got the payment id Software stopped talking to him confirming his part in the game was done. However there was still the OST. Mick apparently also produced more than double the amount of music stated in his contract. “By the end of the project, I’d delivered more than double the minutes stated in the contract.” Mick produced almost 5 hours worth of music while ID Software only paid him for half of it. 

OST Issue

Mick still wasn’t contracted to make the DOOM External OST. He didn’t want to make an OST without a contract for it and decided to contact Bethesda instead of ID Software. Bethesda responded with a draft contract. In the draft contract he needed to make 12 songs selected by id Software and the deadline was April 16 but they could extend it if needed. Mick got the actual contract on March 18. This left him with 29 days to produce and 12 songs. On April 3th, Marty emailed Mick and stated that the April 16th date was now a legal obligation as consumers need to receive it by April 20th. Mick was supposed to make songs picked by id Software however no information was given to Mick so he decided to pick the 12 songs himself. Half way through the making of the OST and 13 days before the OST was due. Marty sends Mick an email with some information regarding the OST. It mentions the April 16 release date was now mandatory due to consumer protection laws. Marty also revealed he got Lead Audio Designer Chad Mossholder to make an alternative OST by cutting together songs submitted by Mick. However Chad has been working on this OST 6 months before Mick even got his contract. “BWF Metadata (the software used to make the mix/create the music) details the exact creation date, time and software used by whoever made the edits. Metadata in Chad’s files show he began work on their alternative OST as far back as August 2019 (six months before I received the OST contract).”

However the alternative OST wasn’t good at all. “Chad’s edits largely disregarded basic music fundamentals, and there was no way it would live up to consumer expectations.” On April 16, Mick was facing technical issues and had ten songs ready for handover and asked for 4-5 hours to fix the last 2. Bethesda were alright with this and granted the extension but Marty wasn’t. In fact Marty didn’t even agree with the OST tracks made by Mick and asked for 10 different songs. When Mick refused “Stratton asked for a handover of everything and they would assemble the final product”. The OST was released without Mick hearing it and as expected. Many people were disappointed by the OST. On top of that when Mick finally listened to it, he “found evidence of songs he was never paid for”

Legal Issues

With all of the negative feedback about the OST, Mick “received a request for a call with Stratton”. The call went poorly with “Stratton allegedly asked Gordon to take full responsibility for the Album” and Gordon refused. They started to make plans to repair the situation and decided to hold off on all public statements until they could discuss the final shared statement. Days later Stratton reviewed a Reddit account that has been Dormant for 3 years and published an open letter about the OST. Mick reading the Reddit post knew that the information was false and got lawyers involved. Mick got lawyers for “Marty published a series of false accusations against me, and id Software shipped DOOM Eternal with double the amount of music than what they paid for.” For the 2nd issue, they would id Software agreed to pay Mick the money owed, but on the condition Mick produce a new, polished version of the DOOM Eternal OST. However Mick wanted Marty to take down the Reddit post and they refused and retracted their original agreement and offered a new settlement. “A six-figure sum in return for taking full public responsibility for the failure of the OST”. Mick denied and offered a settlement himself, Mick would produce a better version of the DOOM Eternal OST. But in return, Marty has to take down the Reddit post, publish a clarification and pay Mick for the extra music used in DOOM Eternal and they refuse. Mick tried to take down the Reddit post himself and contacted a Reddit of the r/DOOM subreddit. The mod took it down but it was back up 12 hours later. Lawyers said this greatly offended Marty and “amicable resolution would be impossible”. Without much Mick can do, he posted his statement on

No new information has been revealed and the Reddit post is still up but people now see it in a different light.