Mick Gordon (sound designer of Doom) issues statement regarding DOOM Eternal

zamardii12

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,370
This is one HELL of a read my friends.



This is what happens when you run a business around creative talent. The creative process takes time and compromise, and upper management only cares about numbers. The thing I don't understand is id software knew they were going to have a hit on their hands with Doom Eternal, but yet they continued this disgusting practice with the one person that contributed most to the feel of the games. Everything Mick had to deal with just sounds like bureaucracy hell.
 
Last edited:

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,405
I only skimmed it, but it sounds to me that while Mick Gordon is a talented composer, he is not necessarily an easy man to work with, not meeting schedules and being a bit abrasive Unfortunately these types of issues seem to be not that uncommon with the more artistic/creative disciplines.

It also sounds like the studio may have used a bunch of musical content in the game and on the OST which wad never accepted by the contract (discarded as drafts and/or rejected material) and thus never paid for it, which is really shitty too. I guess it could have been a mistake or misunderstanding, but that is tough to know without first hand knowledge.

Either way, it sounds like they have had a breakdown in their relationship as a result and that Mick will not be involved with the DLC for Eternal or any future titles in the series, which is a shame, as the sound is one of the best parts of the Doom reboot, but I am sure they can find another composer to carry on the work.
 

zamardii12

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,370
I only skimmed it, but it sounds to me that while Mick Gordon is a talented composer, he is not necessarily an easy man to work with, not meeting schedules and being a bit abrasive Unfortunately these types of issues seem to be not that uncommon with the more artistic/creative disciplines.
Well if you read the article in it's entirety that's not AT ALL the case. Especially because he provided concrete proof as to what happened and how insanely abusive Marty was with him.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,136
I only skimmed it, but it sounds to me that while Mick Gordon is a talented composer, he is not necessarily an easy man to work with, not meeting schedules and being a bit abrasive Unfortunately these types of issues seem to be not that uncommon with the more artistic/creative disciplines.
Skimmed what?

ID set a schedule to deliver finalized music for levels of the game that weren't even made yet. And they didn't reply to questions regarding the direction. As a result much of the produced music had to be re-done after finalizing the levels. This is why the deadlines were impossible to keep.

They also refused to pay the composer for 11 months straight, because they didn't approve any deliveries, so they can reject them later to free up contract for additional music. But later they decided to use all delivered music even tracks that were previously rejected.

ID announced an OST for the game without contacting the composer about it, and refused to sign a contract about producing the actual OST until after it was too late. At which point they decided to relase a crappy version of the OST produced by an audio designer who clearly knows nothing about mastering and producing music.

Then they decided to blame the low quality OST on the original composer anyway in an open letter.

Then they wanted to buy his silence for 5 figures, to never talk about what happened around Doom Eternal.

This is just the headlines, not even the nitty gritty of it.


I say good on him that he refused to take the hush money. I can only imagine how many of these backroom deals happen to shield ahole executives from consequences.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
54,068
I have known Marty for over 20 years. Our wives were in the same birthing classes in 1999. He is not who he used to be I would guess. Marty IS iD now. He has done a great job. He had always been great to my children, as recent as this year. I imagine Bethesda has changed him for the worse, but that is too be expected. When you sell your soul, it is sold.

One reason I never sold. Don't want any masters.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
54,068
I only skimmed it, but it sounds to me that while Mick Gordon is a talented composer, he is not necessarily an easy man to work with, not meeting schedules and being a bit abrasive Unfortunately these types of issues seem to be not that uncommon with the more artistic/creative disciplines.

It also sounds like the studio may have used a bunch of musical content in the game and on the OST which wad never accepted by the contract (discarded as drafts and/or rejected material) and thus never paid for it, which is really shitty too. I guess it could have been a mistake or misunderstanding, but that is tough to know without first hand knowledge.

Either way, it sounds like they have had a breakdown in their relationship as a result and that Mick will not be involved with the DLC for Eternal or any future titles in the series, which is a shame, as the sound is one of the best parts of the Doom reboot, but I am sure they can find another composer to carry on the work.
You spent more time typing this post than you did reading.
 

1_rick

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
3,394
I remember when Marty's post came out. I wonder why Mick took so long to respond (I'm just starting to read his post now so I don't know if he addressed it or not.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DF-1
like this

1_rick

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
3,394
I appreciate the points of note secion, particularly this: "To maintain the anonymity of others, I have used collective nouns such as “Management”, “id Software”, and “Bethesda” to distinguish conversations between different teams. However, collective nouns should not be interpreted as a general attack on any group as a whole. This statement does not reflect the overwhelmingly positive, successful relationships I’ve had with many people and studios under the Zenimax umbrella. The games I "

It's rare for someone to want to nail things down so thoroughly.
 

zamardii12

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,370
I remember when Marty's post came out. I wonder why Mick took so long to respond (I'm just starting to read his post now so I don't know if he addressed it or not.)
He addresses it later on... once the negoitations start between himself and id and more specifically Marty's lawyers who in order to save face has tried very very hard to pin all the shortcomings and failures on Mick. Basically by the end the only thing the lawyers for id could do is offer Mick a 6 figure settlement basically to just stfu (hush money) and take the blame. Read the whole thing. It's worth it.

Mick:
"I never quit DOOM. I quit a toxic client.

Marty couldn’t accept that I never wanted to work with him again, and made his best attempt to send my career into a nosedive as punishment. He resorted to lies and innuendo that fell apart under the most basic level of scrutiny, then tried to bury the issue under a stack of cash.

Using NDAs, settlements and gag orders to silence truths is an appalling tactic used by people in high positions of power fearful of accountability. I am choosing to speak out because the alternative was to accept that tactic as okay."
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,264
I remember when Marty's post came out. I wonder why Mick took so long to respond (I'm just starting to read his post now so I don't know if he addressed it or not.)
He does address why he's been quiet. He's been trying to come to an amicable settlement with id and Marty for the past 15 months. Mick is offering a new version of the OST in exchange for just compensation in the minutes of audio used and Marty simply deleting the Reddit post. Marty's lawyers stonewall him and come back with a gag order in response on multiple occasions during negotiations.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
54,068
I remember when Marty's post came out. I wonder why Mick took so long to respond (I'm just starting to read his post now so I don't know if he addressed it or not.)
First I was aware of it, today.
 

madpistol

Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
972
Approaching this from both an Artist's and Developer's perspective, we've basically got 2 different entities which have prioritized their work as "most important" and the other should have to work around them.

Knowing this, I have to take Mick's side. Composing music from nothing is damn near impossible; you have to have inspiration, and that inspiration takes time to develop and grow once you have it. The creative process for a music composer is often long and difficult, and if they're rushed or not given enough source material to work with, the results can be extremely mediocre. This is the reason why films almost always compose the music after the cuts/editing is completed so as to match the final product; the composer might have some ideas, but it's virtually impossible to take those themes/ideas and expand on them unless you have a finished product.

I would imagine game design is similar. The difference is that events are not static in games, and thus, the ability for a dev and composer to work together is imperative for a cohesive finished product. It would be worth it for a dev to ask a composer to throw some ideas/themes around to help the dev team create an identity, but to demand a musical product before dev work is done... that's just absurd. That's literally asking the composer to guess knowing full well that their guess might be completed wrong, and then those hours/days/months spent working on the music have been wasted and creativity used up. It's very disheartening when something like that happens to an artist.

Both entities need to work out their differences. Music composers are artists, and as such, they can be very difficult to work with, but it doesn't sound like Mick was wrong here. Mick did the best he could with what he had.
 

zamardii12

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,370
Both entities need to work out their differences. Music composers are artists, and as such, they can be very difficult to work with, but it doesn't sound like Mick was wrong here. Mick did the best he could with what he had.
Marty needs to be seriously reprimanded because all the proof that Mick provided on his interactions with that man shows that this Marty character seems to be quite the narcissist, and very abusive. If I was Mick I'd never want to talk to or deal with Marty again.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,264
Approaching this from both an Artist's and Developer's perspective, we've basically got 2 different entities which have prioritized their work as "most important" and the other should have to work around them.

Knowing this, I have to take Mick's side. Composing music from nothing is damn near impossible; you have to have inspiration, and that inspiration takes time to develop and grow once you have it. The creative process for a music composer is often long and difficult, and if they're rushed or not given enough source material to work with, the results can be extremely mediocre. This is the reason why films almost always compose the music after the cuts/editing is completed so as to match the final product; the composer might have some ideas, but it's virtually impossible to take those themes/ideas and expand on them unless you have a finished product.

I would imagine game design is similar. The difference is that events are not static in games, and thus, the ability for a dev and composer to work together is imperative for a cohesive finished product. It would be worth it for a dev to ask a composer to throw some ideas/themes around to help the dev team create an identity, but to demand a musical product before dev work is done... that's just absurd. That's literally asking the composer to guess knowing full well that their guess might be completed wrong, and then those hours/days/months spent working on the music have been wasted and creativity used up. It's very disheartening when something like that happens to an artist.

Both entities need to work out their differences. Music composers are artists, and as such, they can be very difficult to work with, but it doesn't sound like Mick was wrong here. Mick did the best he could with what he had.
Mick was already at a disadvantage working from Australia. id should have made an effort to have a liaison and at least the lead audio designer to have regular video meetings over the course of development instead of speaking at a wall of MBAs who couldn't have cared less beyond deadlines.
 

1_rick

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
3,394
"What frustrated me beyond belief was that I had flagged these exact issues as potential problems earlier in the project. But Management seemed to forget that and instead blamed the causes on me."

One thing I've learned the hard way is to keep the emails where you bring this up, along with their replies. That way you can say "well, I brought this up six months ago." (I this is as far as I've gotten so far, so I don't yet know if he addresses that.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,264
"What frustrated me beyond belief was that I had flagged these exact issues as potential problems earlier in the project. But Management seemed to forget that and instead blamed the causes on me."

One thing I've learned the hard way is to keep the emails where you bring this up, along with their replies. That way you can say "well, I brought this up six months ago." (I this is as far as I've gotten so far, so I don't yet know if he addresses that.
CYAs are must in any kind of business environment, for sure.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,405
You spent more time typing this post than you did reading.

Not denying that I skimmed both links (I wrote that right in my post)

These are business hours after all.

I type very fast though, so I am not sure you are right :p
 
Last edited:

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,136
"What frustrated me beyond belief was that I had flagged these exact issues as potential problems earlier in the project. But Management seemed to forget that and instead blamed the causes on me."

One thing I've learned the hard way is to keep the emails where you bring this up, along with their replies. That way you can say "well, I brought this up six months ago." (I this is as far as I've gotten so far, so I don't yet know if he addresses that.
He provided receits multiple times, but they were simply ignored, since the person in charge was the same person who dismissed his concerns as "being difficult" in the first place.
 

LukeTbk

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
3,336
TLDR: id Software and Bethesda bad. Namely upper management.

Mick's TLDR is at the very bottom.
that does not sound like: id Software and Bethesda bad. Namely upper management.

Mick also communicated that he wasn’t particularly happy with some of the edits in the id tracks. I understand this from an artist’s perspective and realize this opinion is what prompted him to distance from the work in the first place. That said, from our perspective, we didn’t want to be involved in the content of the OST and did absolutely nothing to prevent him from delivering on his commitments within the timeframe he asked for, and we extended multiple times.




To me, that said I went right to read the TLDR at the very bottom,.
 

1_rick

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
3,394
He provided receits multiple times, but they were simply ignored, since the person in charge was the same person who dismissed his concerns as "being difficult" in the first place.
Yeah. Sometimes you need that to show the higher-ups, the public, or a court. (I've never been in that position.)
 

1_rick

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
3,394
One of the reddit mods just put up a stickied comment to Marty's reddit post (linked in post #2 here) mentioning Mick's medium article.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,264
that does not sound like: id Software and Bethesda bad. Namely upper management.

Mick also communicated that he wasn’t particularly happy with some of the edits in the id tracks. I understand this from an artist’s perspective and realize this opinion is what prompted him to distance from the work in the first place. That said, from our perspective, we didn’t want to be involved in the content of the OST and did absolutely nothing to prevent him from delivering on his commitments within the timeframe he asked for, and we extended multiple times.




To me, that said I went right to read the TLDR at the very bottom,.
Management didn't even want to write up a contract for the OST until Mick contacted Bethesda corporate directly. The OST was never discussed until id announced it at E3, and Marty could not have been anymore disinterested in working on it with Mick after he expressed his concerns. When a contract was drafted with only 2 weeks left to game launch, they set a soft deadline of April 16 for 12 songs, which Mick could have met had id bothered to communicate with him. id later contacted him and set April 16 as the hard deadline.

The letter goes into much more detail. You should read the whole thing.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,136
Yeah. Sometimes you need that to show the higher-ups, the public, or a court. (I've never been in that position.)
I've been there, not to this degree, but accused of "looking for problems instead of solutions" But the only way we can have solutions is if we know of the potential problems.
 

Vashypooh

2[H]4U
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
2,496
Well now that we have both sides of the story, pretty much exactly what I figured it was going to be, just based off of how Mick is.

I will no longer purchase from Bethesda, or iD software as long as Marty remains employed by them. This entire thing, is super damning of him. They legitimately stole from Mick, and abused him, in a particularly well documented rebuttle.

Dudes a straight terrible human being.

I am curious if Phil Spencer is going to get involved and clean this mess up. He cannot be impressed.
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
7,648
I know little about all the corporate goings-on with Mick. But I can say that this is a perfect example of just how much of a problem there is in corporate environments especially ones that govern creatives.
All of this echoes more or less the same situations that play out in film and music worlds.

It takes a really special manager who understands both sides and then properly knows how to manage creative. Whatever you think about SNL, that is really Lorne Michael's true genius.
It's garbage like this that has made me never want to work in Hollywood. At the bottom you're treated as replaceable with zero loyalty towards most workers (and this here is precisely why the unions here are so important and also hyper aggressive. It's because they have to be). At the top, even with expertise you're labelled as a diva, even if you're the one making 'them' all the money.

If you're blessed to be in a position where you can 'just' do what you do, make good money, and not deal with BS you're living a dream that few creatives ever see.
 
Last edited:

Brokennails

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,178
Not denying that I skimmed both links (I wrote that right in my post)

These are business hours after all.

I type very fast though, so I am not sure you are right :p
Think what he was getting at is that your baseless claim about Marty being hard to work with and abrasive......

But who knows. Skim away


Sorry was supposed to be funny sarcastic and after reading I was oh shit, what an asshole lol
 

Comixbooks

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
19,586
Screenshot_20221109-174050-041.png

Mick?
 

ChadD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
5,901
They rejected finished music he created under a silly final music first contract (final music for a game that won't exist for a year+ sure sounds legit)... and then 2 years later he hears over 2 hours of rejected music he wasn't paid for in the final game.
Zennimax contracted him to make a OST for another game... claimed the paperwork wouldn't be ready on time. Took delivery, then said they changed their mind sorry... then months later started selling the OST without paying for it.
Both of those things are all I need to hear.
ID is a shit company. Marty a shit person. Let that be a warning to contractors everywhere... don't work for those morons. They will fuck you over.
 

scottypippin

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
68
Man, I hate seeing this grime and shit show up, especially in games and other entertainment these days. Modern entertainment can be such a good thing, but turns into a microcosm of greed and selfishness so fast - especially when everyone involved or not has to have their own 'take' on the issue. Not pointing fingers here, just...damn I can't even really articulate how I feel about this. I really feel for you people who actually know the parties involved, never good to watch trust and loyalties break like this.

Either way, I hope they can figure this out with as little added acrimony as possible.
 
Top