Masters of the Remaster: Inside Bluepoint Games

35 0
Masters of the Remaster: Inside Bluepoint Games

A rare look inside the studio behind some of the world's highest-quality rebuilds and remasters — including February 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus.

Bluepoint Games is a studio known for their consistently excellent results in the realm of remastering, refurbishing, and remaking classic games.

So, you’d expect their headquarters to be bit flashier than the outwardly unremarkable building they share in Austin, Texas. Their unassuming workspace doubles as an analogy for the studio itself: a group more passionate about their work than fame and recognition.

Bluepoint GamesBluepoint Games

The entrance to Bluepoint is proudly adorned with souvenirs from all the projects the team has worked on over the years.

Bluepoint GamesBluepoint Games

Watch the video at the top of this post, captured during a recent trip to Bluepoint Games, for a rare peek inside the studio behind some of the industry’s most well-regarded remasters.

The Story So Far
Bluepoint Games got their start at the dawn of PlayStation Network with the release of their debut title, Blast Factor, but they’ve come a long way since then. Here’s everything they’ve worked on so far:
  • Blast Factor (PS3)
  • God of War Collection (PS3)
  • The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3)
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (PS3, PS Vita)
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS Vita version)
  • Titanfall (Xbox 360 version)
  • Flower (PS4 and PS Vita versions)
  • Gravity Rush Remastered (PS4)
  • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)

Bluepoint has grown into a team of a few dozen employees, but it all began with two people. Marco Thrush, now president of the company, and Andy O’Neil, the studio’s current vice-president. Marco and Andy built the still-in-operation Bluepoint Engine, and worked together to create Blast Factor, which launched alongside PlayStation Network in 2006.

Bluepoint is in a unique position: having led the remastering process for so many legendary titles, the studio has had lots of opportunities to poke around the inner workings of some of the most technically impressive experiences from their respective generations. I asked Peter Dalton, the technical director on PS4’s Shadow of the Colossus, how he and the team took advantage of these opportunities.

“We’ve definitely learned from each of them,” Peter explains. “From the original God of War series and bringing that to PS3, and seeing how they solved certain problems, to working with Naughty Dog’s technology for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

Bluepoint’s art director, Mark Skelton, has similar respect for the artists whose work he’s now responsible for recreating. “It’s amazing what they did with what they had. There are so many tricks and so many unique, groundbreaking things that they did in that game that I’ve never seen since or before that.”

Bluepoint Games Art Director - Mark SkeltonBluepoint Games President - Marco Thrush

Bluepoint Games Studio Producer - Randall LoweBluepoint Games Technical Director - Peter Dalton

Clockwise from top-left: Art Director Mark Skelton, Studio President Marco Thrush, Technical Director Peter Dalton, Studio Producer Randall Lowe

When remastering a classic, it must be tempting to fix each and every mistake, oversight, or inconsistency you would find. But where does one draw the line? Skelton shares a geographical example from Shadow of the Colossus:

“So one of the areas is kind of wooded… I noticed — this is kind of funny — that it was a dual waterfall area. And the dual waterfalls had a U-shaped section that connected them, which to me made absolutely no sense. Where’s the water coming from?

“Things like that we talked through and made sure that if we did make changes to it, that it didn’t have huge ramifications, visually or playwise. So what we decided to do was connect it to another connection that was kind of a mountain waterfall, which fed that waterfall, which in turn fed those two.

“To me, changes like that were important. It makes more sense, and it was maybe just an oversight at the beginning of the first one. Stuff like that I don’t have a problem changing. You know, stuff that makes people scratch their heads and go why?

Bluepoint Games

One benefit of working at Bluepoint: Everyone gets two monitors.

The more you talk to the people at Bluepoint, the more you realize that this obsessive attention to detail is core to the studio’s ethos. Occupying a corner of the studio’s floorplan is a custom rack of four huge TVs, each representing one of the market’s most popular sets in a given price range. They wire PS4 dev kits to this rig to see the final product the way players will see it.

Bluepoint Games

Studio Producer Randall Lowe surveys Shadow of the Colossus’ central field on a range of popular TV panels

If there’s one factor that clearly drives Bluepoint, it’s the desire to do right by fans — to do justice to the legacy of each and every game they choose to rebuild or remaster.

“To us, making the game the way you remember it is the most important mission that we have, regardless of everything else,” explains Randall Lowe, one of the testers on the original PS2 release of Shadow of the Colossus, and now a producer on the 2018 PS4 version. “We need to make sure that the game you’re playing now feels like the thing that you played in the past. If we don’t hit those notes, then we failed in what we were setting out to do.”

Bluepoint Games

The Bluepoint kitchen has a great view of the Pennybacker Bridge, as well as the Colorado River underneath.

Studio president Marco Thrush elaborates: “The games we work on, we hand-pick them — we usually have lots of choices, and we get to pick the ones we care most about or that we truly believe the player will enjoy most once they get rereleased. So we always give the best we possibly can on every single title we work on. I hope it shows in the end result.”

Shadow of the Colossus launches February 6 on PS4, but in the meantime, you can learn how it runs on PS4 Pro, watch the game’s opening sequence, read our hands-on impressions, watch an episode of PlayStation Underground recorded at Bluepoint Games, or peruse a series of other SotC videos over at our YouTube channel. Phew!

Comments are closed.


  • Bluepoint are clearly masters of their craft, and it’s really great to get a closer look at these often unsung heroes of game preservation / restoration :-)

  • I really want me and fans to get in contact with Bluepoint games to share our love for them for all the brilliant remasters ^_^

    After ive enjoyed alot of God of war collection + Gravity Rush remastered + Platinumed all 3 uncharted collection, i’m looking forward to grab Shadow of the Collossus :)

    Because of this i also really want them to remaster PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for PS4, so i can play with my friends with my fave Sony characters.

  • You guys are the best in remastering games. Any hints on the next remaster? Ico? Ni No Kuni? The original Infamous games?

  • Thanks BluePoint for letting me enjoy professionally and respectfully remastered versions of old favorites or games I missed first time around.

  • Love what you guys have done in the past, and looking forward to what you’ll do in the future.
    Also really loved when you kinda called out how badly handled the Silent Hill HD collection was…If only there was some studio known for remastering older titles for newer hardware who happen to have a stellar track record to do a proper HD collection or HD remake of Silent Hill.

  • making remasters probably isn’t the way to get high acclaim or a fan base but I do own 6 of the 9 titles you’ve released and will be buying SofC remaster as well. I very much appreciate the work you do. remasters i’d still like to see for ps4/5:

    MediEvil 1 and 2
    rachet and clank (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
    LBP 1 and 2
    killzone 2
    god of war I and II (fully remastered)
    demon’s souls
    fat princess

    portal 1 and 2
    dead space

  • Since the PS4 is my first PlayStation console, I have never gotten to experience this wonder of a game. When it was revealed at E3 this past year, I cried. I had heard so much about it and now, I am finally able to play it for myself! I ordered the Special Edition (it’s only $50, which is a steal for all that it comes with (but there’s no soundtrack…)) and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Thank you Bluepoint Games!

    It’s going to be a great year for me on PS4! Here are the games I’m excited for that have a release date:
    -Celeste on January 25th (the soundtrack is absolutely incredible!)
    -Shadow of the Colossus on Feb 6th
    -Owlboy on February 13th (I really want the physical edition for this!)
    -Crossing Souls ALSO on February 13th
    -Fe on February 16th
    -A Way Out on March 23rd

  • One other thing: PLEASE REMAKE ICO FOR EITHER THE PS4 OR SONY’S NEXT CONSOLE! That is all I have to say.

  • I want that SoC T-Shirt and also that coffee cup! anyway to get them??

  • Would love to see remasters for Kingdoms of Amalur and Ni No Kuni. Thank you for all your hard work and for being so amazing at the RemasterCraft.

  • We could use as ps all stars game on ps4….

  • a new Blast Factor would be nice

  • Sony should buy Bluepoint Games and make them port all of classic playstation games to ps4, there are alot of playstation 1, 2 or 3 games that I want to play on my ps4 with 60 fps and 4k graphics :)

    I hope their next project is either colony wars remaster, ape escape 1-3 remaster, god of war 1-2 + portables remaster, or at least puppeteer remaster.

  • great job guys, bravo.

  • Bluepoint Games are the best at remastering games hands down! With that said here’s a list of games I would love to see them remaster for PS4:

    ICO (with the same effort as Shadow of the Colossus)
    Infamous 1+2 and Festival of Blood
    Uncharted: Golden Abyss
    Resistance 1-3
    Killzone 1-3 and Mercenary
    God of War 1+2, Chains of Olympus, and Ghost of Sparta
    LittleBigPlanet 1+2
    Demon’s Souls
    Ratchet & Clank PS2 and PS3 games

    So many great PS games that deserve a second chance on PS4

  • Bluepoint Games: thank you for your efforts, your passion, and your commitment to excellence; I look forward to revisiting Shadow of the Colossus because I’ve experienced your dedication before.

  • Can we get that Legend of Dragoon remaster tho?

  • Bluepoint and Backbone are my favorite retro-remake studios! In contrast, Backbone seems to be more about classic 2D gaming and preserving the originals as exactly as possible while making them look as good as they can on modern screens. The Mega Man legacy Collections are a great example of their work and I’d love to see an article like this for that studio!

    please !

  • Pre-Ordered my copy. Looking forward to playing it on my PS4 Pro! Would gladly show more support and pay for Ico and Socom 1 , 2 and 3 if they were to receive the same remastered treatment as Shadow of the Colossus.

    Thank you

  • I’ve played remasters that have made me feel like a revenue source and a sucker. Like some cash grabbers had grabbed my cash.

    Every Bluepoint remaster I’ve played has made me feel respected.

  • I am so fond of Blupoint’s work! They do such a remarkable job on every project they work on, and just 3 more weeks and this gem will be in our PS4’s!

    Definitely picking up the Collector’s Edition!

  • Please work with Naughty Dog, BluePoint Games, Santa Monica Studio, Vanillaware, etc and bring us more remasters/remakes. The PS4 could use a bunch of fan favorite games/series like:

    Uncharted Golden Abyss
    – I’m surprised this hasn’t been done yet on the PS4.

    Muramasa –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
    – I presume this is coming because we have Dragon Crown Pro?

    God of War Definitive Collection –> or whatever you want to call it
    – God of War
    – God of War II
    – God of War III –> include the existing one but patch it to utilize the PS4 Pro
    – God of War Ascension
    – God of War Chains of Olympus
    – God of War Ghost of Sparta

    Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
    I know this is out already, but please release it on disc. You can let Capcom know and make it happen right? Capcom Japan released it on disc. With Devil May Cry HD Collection coming on disc to the PS4 soon, I think it would make sense.

  • Marvel vs. Capcom Collection
    – X-Men vs. Street Fighter
    – Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter
    – Marvel vs. Capcom
    – Marvel vs. Capcom 2
    – Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

    KOF Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
    – KOF 94 ~ XIII
    – KOF Neo Wave
    – Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

    * Capcom vs. SNK Collection* –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
    – Capcom vs. SNK
    – Capcom vs. SNK Pro
    – Capcom vs. SNK 2
    – SVC Chaos SNK Vs. Capcom

    Onimusha Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
    – Onimusha
    – Onimusha 2
    – Onimusha 3
    – Onimusha Dawn of Dreams

    Ninja Gaiden Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
    – Ninja Gaiden Sigma
    – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
    – Ninja Gaiden 3 Razer’s Edge

    Visceral Game Collection
    – Dead Space
    – Dead Space 2
    – Dead Space 3
    – Dante’s Inferno

    • ICO HD

      Final Fantasy Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Final Fantasy
      – Final Fantasy II
      – Final Fantasy III
      – Final Fantasy IV Complete
      – Final Fantasy V
      – Final Fantasy VI

      Final Fantasy Collection 2 –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Final Fantasy Tactics War of the Lions
      – Final Fantasy VII
      – Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core
      – Final Fantasy VIII
      – Final Fantasy IX
      – Final Fantasy X
      – Final Fantasy X-2

      Final Fantasy XIII Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Final Fantasy XIII
      – Final Fantasy XIII-2
      – Final Fantasy XIII Lighting Returns

      Mega Man X Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Mega Man X
      – Mega Man X 2
      – Mega Man X 3
      – Mega Man X 4
      – Mega Man X 5
      – Mega Man X 6
      – Mega Man X 7
      – Mega Man X 8
      – Mega Man X Command Mission

      Mega Man Legends Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Mega Man Legends
      – Mega Man Legends 2
      – Misadventure of Tron Bonne

      Mega Man Zero & ZX Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Mega Man Zero
      – Mega Man Zero 2
      – Mega Man Zero 3
      – Mega Man Zero 4
      – Mega Man ZX
      – Mega Man ZX Advent

    • Dynasty Warriors Gundam Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Dynasty Warriors Gundam
      – Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2
      – Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3
      – Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn

      Castlevania Lord of Shadows Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Castlevania Lord of Shadows
      – Castlevania Lord of Shadows 2
      – Castlevania Lord of Shadows Mirror of Fate

      Metal Gear Solid Collection –> Japanese voice & English subtitles option
      – Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes
      – Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance
      – Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence
      – Metal Gear Solid 4
      – Metal Gear Solid 5 Definitive Edition

      Viewtiful Joe Collection
      – Viewtiful Joe
      – Viewtiful Joe 2

      Guilty Gear Collection
      – Guilty Gear
      – Guilty Gear X ver 1.5
      – Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus

      Please!! PS4 gamers around the world will love you PlayStation if you can work with guys at:
      – Bluepoint Games
      – Capcom
      – SNK
      – Vanillaware
      – Square-Enix
      – Koei Tecmo
      – Arc System
      – Konami


  • “Shadow of the Colossus launches February 6 on PS4, but in the meantime, you can learn how it runs on PS4 Pro”
    Ok,it is good. But what about OG / Slim ps4? It seems Sony slowly but surely refuses to support them, and that’s sad. It seems that in future generations the “upgrade” of the console will become mandatory, and this is bad.

  • Isn’t SOTC PS4 a remake, not a remaster? Yes there’s a difference.

  • I have the Uncharted collection and they did a very good job. Uncharted 2 Remastered is very good and the quality at times was similar to Uncharted 4 or 5.

  • I think a remaster of ICO would be great, I have never played the game, but would love too…

  • Once again I have to cut my comment up due to 1,250 character restraints, sigh…

    Anyway, I am trying to be as polite as possible when saying this, but the comment “If there’s one factor that clearly drives Bluepoint, it’s the desire to do right by fans” falls FLAT ON IT’S FACE when they make a “Remaster” of a game, and it looks WORSE than the one before it. I find it ironic that they have pics above of the last remasters in their office, and the Shadow + ICO Remaster that they show has that beautiful 3D World logo on the bottom center of the case, letting you know it actually has DEPTH, and looks like it should for a game that uses 3D polygons in a 3D WORLD. That DEPTH makes it easier to determine how far the gaps are in the jumps, and it lets you experience the game in a real way that feels like your actually there, which also helps bring the game atmosphere to life and lets you feel like your really in the game, not just viewing it on some flat tv screen.

  • Your best off just playing the ICO remaster on the PS3. At least the game will look beautiful still, run great, and it will be in real Stereoscopic 3D, which helps bring the game to life.

    The only decent remaster was The Last of Us and even on the PS4 Pro that has screwed up shadows and bad effects that never got ironed out. Other remasters like Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls look better for the gameplay, yet the FMV sequences which the games are loaded with look much worse than on the PS3, and most remasters follow this course due to devs not caring about how the final end product turns out.

    This is why I complain so much on these “Remaster” blogs. If the company behind the remasters actually CARED for the end products, they would NEVER let them leave the office without EVERYTHING from start to finish looking at least on PAR with the one before it, if not MUCH BETTER. Yet, somehow they seem to make one section better, one worse, and others they leave the same, this ends up always leaving you with a product that does not feel like a remaster, but more of a science experiment that went wrong in many ways but went right in a few.

  • Now we get to this so/so Remaster, and sadly it looks FLAT AS PAPER in comparison to the one on PS3, and therefore when you try to guess the proper distance to jump or how wide the gaps are etc.. in the 3D PS3 version it’s easy to see using the Stereoscopic 3D that the game has, but in this game it’s back to the old guessing game on a flat-as-paper screen without depth (thanks devs), it’s just a disgrace to the PS4 Pro system which could have given us a TRUE 3D depth Remastered experience. This is yet ANOTHER game I will have to wait on for the bargain bin before buying.

    If your going to remaster anything, at least make it look and play BETTER than the one before it, it’s that simple. If you cannot do that, then you should not call it a Remaster, or a Remake. You guys destroyed what could have been a BEAUTIFUL Remaster of Uncharted 3, and yet you went ahead and completely obliterated that one also with this flat-as-paper look to the game, and leaving out the one amazing quality that the PS3 version had, the true Stereoscopic 3D depth that the game has.

  • My VERY FINAL thoughts on this, (I hope the devs are taking note here), PLEASE Bluepoint Games, DO NOT TOUCH any more PS3 games to “Remake or Remaster” unless you do it RIGHT and give us the SAME experience that the PS3 gave us, but with BETTER graphics and Sound that only the PS4 Pro can provide, otherwise your wasting your valuable time which could be spent making something amazing, and our money we could be spending on a game that is worth it’s purchase (mind you this is our THIRD dipping of this game, so it deserves all the bells and whistles to even be considered worthy of a triple dip).

    Believe it or not, I have spoken with many friends I have about this, and nearly all of them still own 3DTV sets and hundreds of 3D movies and games. Many have brand new 4K 3D Sony sets also like myself, or outstanding LG OLED 2016 3D Model tv sets, and nearly all of them agreed with me on this that the games need to KEEP the 3D that they have for any remaster, otherwise it’s a downgrade. They all would prefer playing the game with TRUE 3D DEPTH in 1080p than playing it in 4K HDR on a flat-as-paper playing field.

Please enter your date of birth.