Mick Gordon, the score composer for both 2016’s Doom and its 2020 sequel Doom Eternal says he doesn’t plan to work on another game in the series, and it appears it’s because a majority of the music for Eternal was mixed by someone other than him, and he’s unhappy with the final result.
This was brought to the public eye by a Twitter thread by user @thatACDCguy, who posted the audio wavelengths of two tracks, one from Doom and another from Doom Eternal.
Here's a comparison between the original BFG Division from Doom 2016's official soundtrack (left) vs. the BFG 2020 remix on Eternal's soundtrack from today (right).
Notice how the wavelengths in BFG 2020 form a nearly perfectly straight bar vs. the original with more definition pic.twitter.com/TCJRdOe1Yf
— Doominal Crossing Got a Direct, But At What Cost? (@DoominalCross) April 19, 2020
Further on down the thread, @thatACDCguy explained why there was a visual difference between the two, with the track from Doom having distinct ranges of sound, while the Doom Eternal song has a straight bar, indicating the music has been compressed in some way. As @thatACDCguy says, this means that, in general, Doom Eternal’s soundtrack lacks the same dynamic sound of the first game, and instruments are balanced in a way that means, in a lot of cases, they might not stand out in the way they were meant to when they were written and performed.
Gordon responded to the thread, saying that this song, among many others in the soundtrack, wasn’t mixed by him, and had he had the chance to produce the mix himself, he wouldn’t have taken the same approach. He does note, however, that he was able to mix some of the songs, which don’t have the same compression issues.
I didn't mix those and wouldn't have done that. You'll be able to spot the small handful of tracks I mixed (Meathook, Command and Control, etc…)
— Mick Gordon (@Mick_Gordon) April 19, 2020
When a fan reached out to Gordon about whether or not he’d be willing to come back for a hypothetical third game, he said it was “unlikely” he would work with developer id Software again. A screenshot of the messages was posted on Reddit:
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Just how far down the resentment goes here is unclear at this point, but Gordon has worked with not only id Software, but its publisher Bethesda on other projects as well. Gordon has composer credits on both Prey and the Wolfenstein series, as well, having contributed to the scores on both 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, 2015’s standalone spin-off Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and eventually the 2017 sequel Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. As these were developed by Arkane Studios and MachineGames, Gordon may have had a more positive working experience with them and might return for another entry. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Beyond his work with Bethesda and its studios, Gordon’s portfolio is pretty extensive across video games, having either scored or contributed to the score of games like Borderlands 3, Killer Instinct, and Lawbreakers.
For more on Doom Eternal, check out Fanbyte’s review podcast, or if you’re just starting out in id’s shooter, we have some guides to help you fight your way through Hell. Like this one, where we go over some general tips the game doesn’t really tell you upfront.
Or, if you’re feeling spicy, check out our podcast discussing the Doom movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.