Project Spark, Microsoft’s game creation suite for Xbox One and PC, is coming to an end. It was transitioned out of active development late last year and made entirely free, but now Microsoft is pulling the plug in full.
As of today, the software is unavailable for download. As of August 12, all services will be pulled offline and user-generated content will be unretrievable. If you want to keep any content you or others have created, you’ll need to download it before then.
There have been no layoffs associated with this decision, as many of the people working on Project Spark were transitioned to other projects. “This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly,” writes community manager Thomas Gratz. “When ‘Project Spark’ transitioned away from active development last fall, many of our team members moved to other projects within Microsoft Studios. While this means there have been no layoffs at Microsoft, it also means it’s simply no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping ‘Project Spark’ up and running with meaningful updates and bug fixes, so we have come to this hard decision.”
Anyone who purchased and redeemed a Project Spark Starter Kit at retail will receive a credit on their Microsoft Account. If you purchased a retail copy of Project Spark after October 5, 2015 (but before today’s announcement), you’ll get a credit to purchase other software on the Xbox or Windows store.
For more on Project Spark, check out our review.
This is an unsurprising turn of events, but one that comes with the good news that there are no resulting layoffs. Project Spark was an interesting experiment and, if anything, saw Conker get a bit of attention. However, it never really got the marketing push it needed to become a showcase for user creativity. There was quite a bit made on the platform, but much of it goes unsung.