In an open letter published on Reddit, Doom Eternal producer Marty Stratton indicated that composer Mick Gordon will not be asked to return to the franchise for its upcoming DLC or potential future entries. In a year already packed with high-profile video games, Doom Eternal managed to stand out from the pack with its infectious mix of wall-to-wall action, tremendous production values, and old-school sensibilities. A big part of the game's success came from its soundtrack, composed by Mick Gordon, who also worked on Doom 2016 and the recent Wolfenstein titles.

Controversy arose last month when the official soundtrack release for Doom Eternal contained a number of poorly-mixed tunes. When asked about the matter, Gordon confirmed that he didn't mix the entire record, which suffered from a total lack of dynamics in all the tracks that weren't personally assembled by Gordon himself. Basically, the music in the soundtrack was of significantly lower quality than the music in the game proper.

After over a month of speculation and behind-the-scenes speculation, id Software's Marty Stratton published an open letter on Reddit to the Doom community in which he explains his side of the story and delivers the news that Mick Gordon will not be returning for Doom Eternal's upcoming DLC and is unlikely to create music for Doom or Wolfenstein in the future.

The open letter runs for over 2300 words and goes into intimate detail about how and why the official soundtrack turned out the way it did. The main issue, according to Stratton, is that Gordon fell behind on his work and ran out of time, missing the deadline to have complete ownership over the waveforms of the OST versions of Doom Eternal's songs, even after being given a six week extension. When it comes to the poor quality of the tunes, Stratton again blames Gordon for providing pre-compressed files for id's Lead Audio Designer to make OST-ready.

It's easy to sympathize with both sides of this conflict. On one hand, "you can't rush art," but when that art is part of a mass-marketed corporate product with tight deadlines, there is a responsibility that needs to be met. By all accounts, Mick Gordon did his absolute best to meet that responsibility, but it wasn't enough to keep id and publisher Bethesda from cutting corners when it came to releasing the OST in a timely manner. Marty Stratton's letter ends with a confirmation that Gordon won't be involved in Doom Eternal's DLC plans, and gives a very strong indication that id will not be working with the composer again. Mick Gordon's work played a big part in helping the rebooted Doom series to establish its own identity. Whatever happens in the future, that identity will undoubtedly be affected by whatever direction id and Bethesda decide to take the series and its music.