Sony finally secured Bluepoint Games, the modern masters of the remake and remaster. Rumors swirled about Sony’s acquisition for quite some time and were whipped up into a frenzy after the Demon’s Souls remake was released in late 2020 – but the confirmation is finally here. We also have confirmation that Bluepoint is working on an original game – something we should all be very excited about.
Bluepoint Games has been working side-by-side with Sony for quite some time, delivering the God of War Collection on PS3, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, a stunning Shadow of the Colossus remake on PS4, and of course, the remake of Demon’s Souls for PS5. Though Bluepoint may continue to work on Sony remakes and remasters in the future, an interview with studio president Marco Thrush at IGN (opens in new tab) confirms the team is using its expertise to work on “even more impactful experiences for the PlayStation community” by way of original IPs.
A studio that has made a name for itself by rebuilding classic PlayStation games, now owned by Sony and given the support to build an original title of its own? There’s nothing but magic coming out of that collab.
The Remaster Master
Bluepoint Games knows the PlayStation catalog like the back of its hand. The company has worked with Sony since it was founded back in 2006 and has shown a propensity for improving upon games without sacrificing their integrity. Take the critically acclaimed 2014 Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4, which famously upgrades certain aspects of the game while retaining its anachronistic feel. Bluepoint handled the remake with a deftness that is quite simply extraordinary – it’s not easy to update a nearly 10-year-old game into something that feels both relevant and nostalgic. The studio retained its core mechanics but drastically changed the art style to show off the new PS4 graphical capabilities, taking the source material and going for realism over anything else. While it may have wrinkled the nose of a few purists, it undeniably made the game more accessible, widening its scope to include a broader audience.
It’s no surprise then, that Sony would turn to Bluepoint to update another iconic, stylized, and anachronistic title: Demon’s Souls. Just like Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus, which had famously fussy controls, FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls is legendary for its mechanical specificity – it’s the blueprint for all Soulslikes, after all. So, just like Shadow of the Colossus, Bluepoint brilliantly updated Demon’s Souls’ graphics and online infrastructure, but otherwise offered up an “almost identical recreation” of the original game, according to Joseph Yaden for GamesRadar.
It’s a keen understanding of what makes a game special combined with the knowledge and expertise of how to improve upon core foundations without compromise that makes Bluepoint the remaster master. Time and time again, the team at Bluepoint has demonstrated that it not only loves video games, but understands why players love them too – it knows how to make a game that both honors the past and opens up the door for new fans. That’s an exciting quality to have as part of the broader PlayStation Studios portfolio.
Bluepoint started as a studio that made remasters and ports, then it moved to remakes, increasing its studio size from 15 people during work on the 2009 God of War collection to 95 people as of work on Demon’s Souls. Thrush tells IGN “the transition from remasters to remakes was to test ourselves and push ourselves harder for the next step.” It certainly seems like the studio has passed those tests, and the next logical step is for the team to work on an original PS5 game.
A Bluepoint Original
Since its inception, Bluepoint has always had a blueprint to work from, a clear game structure that the team could then improve upon. That experience shouldn’t be discounted, as it means that Bluepoint has basically taken a lengthy game dev master course, studying the foundational design for some of the most iconic PlayStation games of all time before finding ways in which to improve upon them. It’s akin to tasking an architect to somehow make the Empire State Building even greater; it’s a seemingly impossible task, but one Bluepoint seems to accomplish without reservation time and time again. And should you have any concerns about Bluepoint’s capacity to create a game from scratch, Thrush assures the world that the team is comprised of people accustomed to working on original development.
“Our team is a very highly experienced team, the average experience among most people is about 15 years, and all of them come from original development. It’s not like we’re a bunch of developers that got trained up on making remasters and remakes. We have that original game development mindset in our hearts, and that’s what we’re now ready, finally ready with the support of Sony to push forward and show what we can do, and show what PlayStation can do,” Thrush says.
Bluepoint’s unique relationship with Sony means the team is comprised of PlayStation experts, uniquely positioned in a way that understands what does and doesn’t work in Sony games. “Bluepoint is now in a place where there’s hardly an entity imaginable that knows PlayStation better than they do, because they’ve worked with so many different teams on their respective, iconic franchises that they’ve had a developer insight in a wonderful way,” Hulst said, PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst tells IGN (opens in new tab).
If you played Demon’s Souls for PS5, you’ll know that Bluepoint is already pushing the system to see what it’s capable of – delivering some of the finest visual effects and performance at launch. Combine that clear desire with institutional knowledge of some of PlayStation’s greatest games, and it’s clear that whatever Bluepoint does next will be worth paying attention to. With Sony’s full support behind them – and the capacity to share resources and knowledge with the wider PlayStation Studios group (which includes the likes of Guerrilla Games, Naughty Dog, and Sony Santa Monica) now available to the team – it’s easy to imagine how Bluepoint could become one of the most important studios for PS5 in the years ahead. Sony also recently acquired Housemarque (Returnal), Nixxies (PC port specialists), and Firespite (The Persistence/VR specialists). The PlayStation Studios group is expanding rapidly, but expect Bluepoint to be at the tip of the spear.
As for what the team will be working on, it’s anybody’s guess. Perhaps Bluepoint will take a page out of Demon’s Souls’ tome and offer us a visually dense, mechanically difficult game that ensnares us from the start, daring us to continue onwards even in the face of frustration. It could offer us a playable fairy tale set in a fantasy world that feels lived-in and vast, like Shadow of the Colossus. Maybe it will create a tight, 20-hour action game like God of War 2 that rivals the best summer blockbusters. Whatever Bluepoint Games does under the umbrella of SIE, expect it to be something incredibly special.
Expect more of this – Sony Interactive Entertainment head says PlayStation isn’t done with acquisitions yet.