Id Software Reveals What Went Wrong With Doom Eternal's Soundtrack
Doom Eternal is a great game. It released at the tail-end of March (humorously alongside Animal Crossing), and has gone on to receive extremely positive reviews, proving itself as one of the best shooters of the year. Despite this, there has been some controversy surrounding its official soundtrack. It all began a few weeks ago when fans noticed that the soundtrack included with the game's collector's edition sounded weirdly flat. The mixing was all wrong, which was a weird contrast to the snappy, punchy music found in the game proper. It didn't take long for fans on Twitter to start comparing the two versions of the OST side by side, venting their frustrations. Not long after this, Doom Eternal's official composer, Mick Gordon, revealed that he wasn't the one who mixed those tracks, and that only a handful of his own works could be found in the OST. This response came around the end of April. Since then, fans have been wondering what's up with the discrepancy.
In a very lengthy, in-depth post on Doom's official subreddit, Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton cleared the air by revealing everything that went wrong in the leadup to release. It's a wordy post, so to sum it up nice and neatly, most of this had to do with deadlines. As many players probably noticed, the soundtrack portion of Doom Eternal's collector's edition was delayed, set aside from the rest of the goodies that came with it. The reason for this was due to a request for a deadline extension on Mick Gordon's end of things. While first agreeing to have a soundtrack ready by early March, he later revealed to id that the work was more than anticipated, asking for four more weeks to put everything together. This would also mean more content on the final product. id agreed to the extension, but as the mid-April deadline drew close, it was looking increasingly likely that Gordon wouldn't hit the mark on time. In order to have a backup plan, id put Eternal's Lead Audio Designer, Chad Mossholder, to work on mixing music Gordon had already submitted previously.
As the deadline almost drew to a close, Gordon reached out to Mossholder and suggested that the two collaborate by combining their tracks into one full OST. Thus, we have the final product: An OST consisting of tracks mixed by both Mossholder and Gordon. This explains the weird differences between the two official soundtracks, and why the songs sounded so different from track to track. Unfortunately, the whole situation has made id reconsider their future with Gordon. "As for the immediate future, we are at the point of moving on and won't be working with Mick on the DLC we currently have in production," the Reddit post concludes. "I'm as disappointed as anyone that we're at this point, but as we have many times before, we will adapt to changing circumstances and pursue the most unique and talented artists in the industry with whom to collaborate."
This news will likely be a hard pill to swallow for fans of the rebooted Doom series, as Gordon's hard-hitting, heavy metal tracks were always a highlight for both the 2016 game and Eternal. It's unclear whether Gordon and id will collaborate in the future once the DLC is done and past, but you never know. At least as far the DLC is concerned, it sounds like id will search for a different composer to work alongside Mossholder as it was before. Doom Eternal is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, and Google Stadia. A Nintendo Switch port is in the works, thanks in large part to the recent friendship sparked between Nintendo and the Doom series; all of the original Doom games released onto the platform, alongside the 2016 reboot. With a DLC in the works, now's the perfect time to jump on board and start slaying some demons... even if it will all sound pretty different going forward.