How Shadow of the Colossus PS4 studio Bluepoint became masters of the remaster

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How Shadow of the Colossus PS4 studio Bluepoint became masters of the remaster

A rare look inside the studio behind some of the world's highest-quality rebuilds and remasters ahead of next month's release

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 a 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.

Watch the video above, captured during a recent trip to Bluepoint Games, to learn more about how the studio works, and how they’re aiming to make Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 the definitive version of a gaming legend.


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

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 Games – the story so far

Bluepoint 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 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.”

Left to right: Art Director Mark Skelton, Studio President Marco Thrush, Studio Producer Randall Lowe, Technical Director Peter Dalton


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.”

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 realise 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 re-released. 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 7th February on PS4, but in the meantime, you can learn how it runs on PS4 Pro, watch the game’s opening sequence and read our hands-on impressions.

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  • I’m looking forward to this one the most. Easily one of the greatest PS2 games of all time.

    I know it’s a long shot, but any chance of approaching Capcom to bring back Chaos Legion? That was my very first PS2 game and needs to see the light of day again, even if it’s just a PS2 Classic like GTA, with upscaling and trophies.

  • Is the Special Edition going to arrive here????

    Please, tell us something T_T

    We need something special for this more than special game.

    • are shipping worldwide – might be worth putting down a preorder in case it doesn’t show up over here

  • This is the main reason I don’t like remasters. Made by another team. If they were remastered by their actual original developers, I might give more of them a try (if they weren’t last-gen either, the nostalgia doesn’t really drop in if you played the game only one generation ago).

    I would only remaster (or even better, remake entirely) games older than last-gen and have it done by the original developers, thay way it wouldn’t come off as such an easy money grab. Maybe remasters are more interesting to people who don’t keep their games, but I don’t see the value in it, specifically for last-gen at least.

    Also can’t help but wonder what they could do with their accumulated knowledge into making an actual new game. That would be far more interesting than yet another remaster.

    • Shadow of the Colossus is not a last-gen game, it’s a 13 year old PS2 title. This is less a remaster (as the PS3 version) and more an inherently more involved remake from the ground up.

    • Yes, I know. But it’s less common to see an older game like this being remastered, than a last-gen game.

      And I get where you’re coming from, but I definitely still consider this a remaster over a remake (eventhough the game is older in this case). For me to consider it a remake it would literally have to look and feel like a PS4 game, up to the point you don’t realize the game was ever released earlier (which, coincidentally, the Last Guardian didn’t even manage to pull off imo, as it was a bit of a technical mess that isn’t up to modern standards in every aspect).

  • And Next project AAA PS4 (PS5) Exclusive ;)

  • Please could you bring the following to PS4 (4k hdr would be nice but there’s no pressure)

    God of War

    God of War 2

    God of War Chains Of Olympus

    God of War Ghosts of Sparta

    God of War Ascension


    Infamous 2

    Infamous Festival Of Blood.

    Can’t wait for the 7th. Game is already waiting in my library.

  • While there’s no denying Bluepoint have done some great work their ps3 remaster of SoTC was abysmal, sure it looked like it should but everything else was just awful. Get it right this time.

    • Well to be honest, the PS3 was a total pig to develop for, and Bluepoint were really only just starting out with remasters at that point.

    • I just can’t be that apathetic, it was a bad remaster. No excuses. Hopefully they don’t balls it up twice.

  • shows the special edition as “currently unavailable”. I suspect they’ve all been bought up and are now listed on eBay with a big markup. I was holding out for some news on a UK release and am annoyed now I didn’t just order from when I had the chance. In the end, I’ve ordered from Play Asia but it’s ended up costing me about £60 with shipping and import taxes. But hey, this is only the third time I’ve bought this game across 3 different consoles, so why shouldn’t I be rinsed senseless for my loyalty!

  • As for remasters, I would do a barrel roll if somebody remastered the Shadow Hearts collection.

  • i’m kinda on the fence about this. i still have a ps2 copy of sotc and i feel like i should be able to play it on my ps4. i don’t have my ps2 anymore, because that’s just life. but why can’t i play old ps2 games, when emualtion is surely possible? look at pc games: people can buy any game they want and play it forever, and they even get mods with improved textures etc for older games.

    hopefully now with playstation using x86 cpus it will be possible to carry games over each gen. cause i have a lot of games on my ps4 and will not put up two playstations next to my tv.

  • I hope ico is their next project.

  • A remaster is nice, but I really like to thank you for NOT releasing the Special Edition in Europe…

    It’s so nice to see that your entrance is filled with souvenirs from your projects. Guess which one won’t be on display in my home?

  • Please, give us a special edition EU.

  • True legendary developer. Well done and I hope this opens the door to remake more games like this (games that had animations and tech so far in advance, they still look stunning 13 years later with a new lick of paint).

    Oh and seriously, where is our Special Edition for Europe. I’m not preordering the game until I see it, Sony. Or next time, don’t bring a Special Edition to US and leave out the continent that ICO and SOTC sold more in.

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