Modern Warfare 2 composer departs project and disowns soundtrack over 'challenging' work dynamic with audio director

Modern Warfare 2 KD ratio - a sniper in a ghillie suit
(Image credit: Activision)
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The composer behind Modern Warfare 2 has announced that she's terminating her involvement with the game. In a statement posted to Twitter (opens in new tab), Sarah Schachner said that, owing to an "increasingly challenging" working dynamic with MW2's audio director, she's unable to continue working on the music and soundtrack release for MW2 and Warzone, so she's washing her hands of the whole thing.

Schachner was also the composer for 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but now says she "can no longer continue to compose music for MW2/Warzone". Schachner says that her working relationship with the games' audio director has reached such a low level in recent months that she longer sees "any path forward" for her work on MW2 and Warzone.

It looks like disagreements over the soundtrack release were a major source of tension. Although the soundtrack release was worked on by Schachner, mixer Frank Wolf, and producer Mike Dean (who's worked with such luminaries as The Weeknd and FKA Twigs), Schachner writes that her preferred soundtrack masters are something which "unfortunately, you will never get to hear". Instead, "What will be released on the soundtrack is not my artistic intent in regards to mixing and mastering," says Schachner.

"I would like to acknowledge the incredible hard work of the audio team as a whole," Schachner writes in her conclusion, "and I hope you still enjoy it because I put so much work and effort into it". But whether you enjoy it or not, Schachner's getting out of here. She writes, by way of conclusion, that she feels "a responsibility to the fans to remain authentic in my approach with the game and its sound which I have been part of creating for many years".

It's an unfortunate turn of events, especially since MW2 is really rather good (opens in new tab) indeed—its baffling UI (opens in new tab) aside—and its soundtrack and audio design play a big part in that. Still, with a resume that includes Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, it seems pretty likely you'll be hearing Schachner's work again in a game before too long.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.