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The Elder Scrolls: Blades - more gameplay



From Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim, comes The Elder Scrolls: Blades – a classic dungeon crawler reimagined. Download now and play for free!

North American Switch eShop lists The Elder Scrolls: Blades for May 14th, 2020 release

Is May 14th back on?

Last week, Nintendo's weekly press release detailing titles going up for download included The Elder Scrolls: Blades, showing the game as launching on May 14th, 2020. That date was echoed by a listing by Nintendo UK showing the same date. Shortly after that info went out, Nintendo ended up removing it completely, with the date going back to either Spring 2020 or TBA.

Those removals had people wondering if Nintendo made a mistake, and the date was never correct to begin with. Well now it seems the date was correct, but Nintendo might have shared it too early. A listing is now live on the Switch eShop in North America, and as you can see above, it shows the same May 14th, 2020 release. Let's see if this listing gets removed too!

Thanks to Sephiroth_FF for the heads up!

Nintendo announced The Elder Scrolls: Blades for May 12th, 2020 release, and then deleted all mentions of the date

So is it May 12th or not?

Something fishy is going on with The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Some many have noticed that the most recent download press release from Nintendo of America mentioned that The Elder Scrolls: Blades will be launching on May 12th, 2020. Nintendo UK also added the game to their website with the same date.

Fast-forward a few days and everything has changed. Nintendo.com's listing for The Elder Scrolls: Blades shows the game as coming 'Spring 2020,' Nintendo removed all mentions of the game from the press release found on their online press room, and Nintendo UK changed their listing to say TBD.

Now we have to figure out if Nintendo shared the date early, or Nintendo simply made a mistake. I guess we'll find out for sure in just a few days!

DOOM Eternal 'accolades' trailer

Experience the must-play game of the year, rated 9.25 by Game Informer. Feel the ultimate combination of speed and power as the unstoppable DOOM Slayer in “one of the best first-person shooters ever” according to GameRevolution. Hell’s armies have invaded Earth, and the only thing they fear… is you.

DOOM Eternal executive producer releases lengthy statement confirming the departure of composer Mick Gordon

The sound of silence

In the last few weeks, we've heard that DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal composer Mick Gordon was not happy with how things went down with DOOM Eternal, and he planned to sever the relationship with Bethesda. Unfortunately, we now know that is indeed the case, as confirmed by DOOM Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton. Stratton took to Reddit to share an extremely lengthy statement on the matter, which offers up his side of the situation, and also laments the loss of Gordon. You can see the full statement below.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen lots of discussion centered around the release of the DOOM Eternal Original Game Soundtrack (OST). While many fans like the OST, there is speculation and criticism around the fact that the game’s talented and popular composer, Mick Gordon, edited and “mixed” only 12 of the 59 tracks on the OST - the remainder being edited by our Lead Audio Designer here at id.

Some have suggested that we’ve been careless with or disrespectful of the game music. Others have speculated that Mick wasn’t given the time or creative freedom to deliver something different or better. The fact is – none of that is true.

What has become unacceptable to me are the direct and personal attacks on our Lead Audio Designer - particularly considering his outstanding contributions to the game – as well as the damage this mischaracterization is doing to the many talented people who have contributed to the game and continue to support it. I feel it is my responsibility to respond on their behalf. We’ve enjoyed an amazingly open and honest relationship with our fans, so given your passion on this topic and the depth of misunderstanding, I’m compelled to present the entire story.

When asked on social media about his future with DOOM, Mick has replied, “doubt we’ll work together again.” This was surprising to see, as we have never discussed ending our collaboration with him until now - but his statement does highlight a complicated relationship. Our challenges have never been a matter of creative differences. Mick has had near limitless creative autonomy over music composition and mixing in our recent DOOM games, and I think the results have been tremendous. His music is defining - and much like Bobby Prince’s music was synonymous with the original DOOM games from the 90s, Mick’s unique style and sound have become synonymous with our latest projects. He’s deserved every award won, and I hope his incredible score for DOOM Eternal is met with similar accolades – he will deserve them all.

Talent aside, we have struggled to connect on some of the more production-related realities of development, while communication around those issues have eroded trust. For id, this has created an unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk.

At E3 last year, we announced that the OST would be included with the DOOM Eternal Collector’s Edition (CE) version of the game. At that point in time we didn’t have Mick under contract for the OST and because of ongoing issues receiving the music we needed for the game, did not want to add the distraction at that time. After discussions with Mick in January of this year, we reached general agreement on the terms for Mick to deliver the OST by early March - in time to meet the consumer commitment of including the digital OST with the DOOM Eternal CE at launch. The terms of the OST agreement with Mick were similar to the agreement on DOOM (2016) in that it required him to deliver a minimum of 12 tracks, but added bonus payments for on-time delivery. The agreement also gives him complete creative control over what he delivers.

On February 24, Mick reached out to communicate that he and his team were fine with the terms of the agreement but that there was a lot more work involved than anticipated, a lot of content to wade through, and that while he was making progress, it was taking longer than expected. He apologized and asked that “ideally” he be given an additional four weeks to get everything together. He offered that the extra time would allow him to provide upwards of 30 tracks and a run-time over two hours – including all music from the game, arranged in soundtrack format and as he felt it would best represent the score in the best possible way.

Mick’s request was accommodated, allowing for an even longer extension of almost six weeks – with a new final delivery date of mid-April. In that communication, we noted our understanding of him needing the extra time to ensure the OST meets his quality bar, and even moved the bonus payment for on-time delivery to align with the new dates so he could still receive the full compensation intended, which he will. In early March, we announced via Twitter that the OST component in the DOOM Eternal CE was delayed and would not be available as originally intended.

It’s important to note at this point that not only were we disappointed to not deliver the OST with the launch of the CE, we needed to be mindful of consumer protection laws in many countries that allow customers to demand a full refund for a product if a product is not delivered on or about its announced availability date. Even with that, the mid-April delivery would allow us to meet our commitments to customers while also allowing Mick the time he had ideally requested.

As we hit April, we grew increasingly concerned about Mick delivering the OST to us on time. I personally asked our Lead Audio Designer at id, Chad, to begin work on id versions of the tracks – a back-up plan should Mick not be able to deliver on time. To complete this, Chad would need to take all of the music as Mick had delivered for the game, edit the pieces together into tracks, and arrange those tracks into a comprehensive OST.

It is important to understand that there is a difference between music mixed for inclusion in the game and music mixed for inclusion in the OST. Several people have noted this difference when looking at the waveforms but have misunderstood why there is a difference. When a track looks “bricked” or like a bar, where the extreme highs and lows of the dynamic range are clipped, this is how we receive the music from Mick for inclusion in the game - in fragments pre-mixed and pre-compressed by him. Those music fragments he delivers then go into our audio system and are combined in real-time as you play through the game.

Alternatively, when mixing and mastering for an OST, Mick starts with his source material (which we don’t typically have access to) and re-mixes for the OST to ensure the highs and lows are not clipped – as seen in his 12 OST tracks. This is all important to note because Chad only had these pre-mixed and pre-compressed game fragments from Mick to work with in editing the id versions of the tracks. He simply edited the same music you hear in game to create a comprehensive OST – though some of the edits did require slight volume adjustments to prevent further clipping.

In early April, I sent an email to Mick reiterating the importance of hitting his extended contractual due date and outlined in detail the reasons we needed to meet our commitments to our customers. I let him know that Chad had started work on the back-up tracks but reiterated that our expectation and preference was to release what he delivered. Several days later, Mick suggested that he and Chad (working on the back-up) combine what each had been working on to come up with a more comprehensive release.

The next day, Chad informed Mick that he was rebuilding tracks based on the chunks/fragments mixed and delivered for the game. Mick replied that he personally was contracted for 12 tracks and suggested again that we use some of Chad’s arrangements to fill out the soundtrack beyond the 12 songs. Mick asked Chad to send over what he’d done so that he could package everything up and balance it all for delivery. As requested, Chad sent Mick everything he had done.

On the day the music was due from Mick, I asked what we could expect from him. Mick indicated that he was still finishing a number of things but that it would be no-less than 12 tracks and about 60 minutes of music and that it would come in late evening. The next morning, Mick informed us that he’d run into some issues with several tracks and that it would take additional time to finish, indicating he understood we were in a tight position for launching and asked how we’d like to proceed. We asked him to deliver the tracks he’d completed and then follow-up with the remaining tracks as soon as possible.

After listening to the 9 tracks he’d delivered, I wrote him that I didn’t think those tracks would meet the expectations of DOOM or Mick fans – there was only one track with the type of heavy-combat music people would expect, and most of the others were ambient in nature. I asked for a call to discuss. Instead, he replied that the additional tracks he was trying to deliver were in fact the combat tracks and that they are the most difficult to get right. He again suggested that if more heavy tracks are needed, Chad’s tracks could be used to flesh it out further.

After considering his recommendations, I let Mick know that we would move forward with the combined effort, to provide a more comprehensive collection of the music from the game. I let Mick know that Chad had ordered his edited tracks as a chronology of the game music and that to create the combined work, Chad would insert Mick‘s delivered tracks into the OST chronology where appropriate and then delete his own tracks containing similar thematic material. I said that if his additional combat tracks come in soon, we’d do the same to include them in the OST or offer them later as bonus tracks. Mick delivered 2 final tracks, which we incorporated, and he wished us luck wrapping it up. I thanked him and let him know that we’d be happy to deliver his final track as a bonus later on and reminded him of our plans for distribution of the OST first to CE owners, then later on other distribution platforms.

On April 19, we released the OST to CE owners. As mentioned earlier, soon after release, some of our fans noted and posted online the waveform difference between the tracks Mick had mixed from his source files and the tracks that Chad had edited from Mick's final game music, with Mick’s knowledge and at his suggestion.

In a reply to one fan, Mick said he, “didn’t mix those and wouldn’t have done that.” That, and a couple of other simple messages distancing from the realities and truths I’ve just outlined has generated unnecessary speculation and judgement - and led some to vilify and attack an id employee who had simply stepped up to the request of delivering a more comprehensive OST. Mick has shared with me that the attacks on Chad are distressing, but he’s done nothing to change the conversation.

After reaching out to Mick several times via email to understand what prompted his online posts, we were able to talk. He shared several issues that I’d also like to address.

First, he said that he was surprised by the scope of what was released – the 59 tracks. Chad had sent Mick everything more than a week before the final deadline, and I described to him our plan to combine the id-edited tracks with his own tracks (as he’d suggested doing). The tracks Mick delivered covered only a portion of the music in the game, so the only way to deliver a comprehensive OST was to combine the tracks Mick-delivered with the tracks id had edited from game music. If Mick is dissatisfied with the content of his delivery, we would certainly entertain distributing additional tracks.

I also know that Mick feels that some of the work included in the id-edited tracks was originally intended more as demos or mock-ups when originally sent. However, Chad only used music that was in-game or was part of a cinematic music construction kit.

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.

Finally, Mick was concerned that we’d given Chad co-composer credit – which we did not do and would never have done. In the metadata, Mick is listed as the sole composer and sole album artist. On tracks edited by id, Chad is listed as a contributing artist. That was the best option to clearly delineate for fans which tracks Mick delivered and which tracks id’s Lead Audio Designer had edited. It would have been misleading for us to attribute tracks solely to Mick that someone else had edited.

If you’ve read all of this, thank you for your time and attention. 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. As I’ve mentioned, his music is incredible, he is a rare talent, and I hope he wins many awards for his contribution to DOOM Eternal at the end of the year.

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. Our team has enjoyed this creative collaboration a great deal and we know Mick will continue to delight fans for many years ahead.

A song on the DOOM Eternal soundtrack hides artwork from DOOM II

Now THAT'S an Easter egg!

Composer Mick Gordon got a ton of praise for his work on the DOOM (2016) soundtrack. He managed to capture the sound and vibe of DOOM perfectly, all while putting his own spin on things. He also managed to sneak in a few Easter eggs in the songs themselves. It looks like Mick's up to his old tricks once again in DOOM Eternal.

When players ran the original DOOM (2016) soundtrack through a spectrogram, they discovered hidden imagery that was tied to the game's theme. The number of the beast, pentagrams, and so on. They were scattered about a few tracks as Easter eggs for those who felt like diving deep into the game's music.

The image above comes from a spectrogram view of "Welcome Home, Great Slayer," a song from DOOM Eternal's soundtrack. I read the Reddit thread about the supposed finding, but I went through the trouble of confirming it with my own spectrogram analysis. The image you see above is the one I pulled right from the song.

Series fans probably recognized the image right away, as it was part of the promo artwork for DOOM II. It looks like Mick slipped in the image while working on the DOOM Eternal soundtrack. If you want to do the analysis for yourself, you can do a spectrogram analysis on the last 10 seconds or so of the song to discover the image.

Did You Know Gaming - DOOM Eternal

In this video, Did You Know Gaming takes a look at some facts, secrets and Easter eggs surrounding Doom Eternal.

DOOM/DOOM Eternal composer Mick Gordon says he's unlikely to work on another DOOM game again

The soundtrack is DOOMed

DOOM and DOOM Eternal were both praised in a number of areas, but the soundtracks for each game might have received the most praise of all. They were put together by composer Mick Gordon, who really knocked it out of the park with his direction for the game's music. Sadly, it seems like Gordon won't be working with the DOOM franchise again in the future.

While we can't say it with 100% accuracy, it seems Gordon is a bit unhappy with how the soundtrack releases for these games have been handled, especially when it comes to DOOM Eternal. The soundtrack release for DOOM Eternal has a lot of mixing issues, and apparently Gordon was asked to work on the mixes for a handful of tracks. The songs that were mixed without his input were handled in a rather slipshod way, with fans noticing major differences between the tracks Gordon personally mixed and the others.

PCGamer talked to Gordon about the mixing issues, to which he responded with the following.

"I take a lot of pride in my work. It’s all I do, it’s all I have and I pour my heart and soul into it."

Gordon also said he's trying to understand what exactly happened with the soundtrack release, and has no further comments at this time.

That said, we do have one more blurb from Gordon. A fan reached out to him on Twitter about the situation, and Gordon responded by saying he doubts he'll work with Bethesda/id again. It would be a real shame to lose Gordon for any future DOOM games, so hopefully these issues can be ironed out over the next few years.

DOOM Eternal soundtrack coming to streaming platforms soon

DOOM Tunes

We don't have DOOM Eternal on the Switch yet, but as far as we know, it's coming this year. What do we do to pass the time while waiting for the game? Why not listen to the official soundtrack?

While it's no't available at this time, the official DOOM Twitter account said that the soundtrack is releasing in the coming weeks.
You'll be able to check it out on Spotify, iTunes, and more.

Jack Black checks out DOOM Eternal

Jack is back

Jack Black has been cranking out gaming-related videos for his Jablinski Games channel for over a year now, and the latest episode just popped up today. Black sits down with his kids to see what DOOM Eternal is all about, and he certainly seems to enjoy his time with it. Check out the video above to see some gameplay and his impressions.

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