Microsoft’s E3 2013 event is often remembered with disdain by gamers, as it was then that the always-online policies of the Xbox One were first truly acknowledged. All the controversy surrounding this planned restriction overshadowed what was otherwise a fairly impressive E3 showing for Microsoft, wherein they showed off exciting games like Dead Rising 3, Titanfall, and an ambitious creation game called Project Spark.
Project Spark originally released last October in two different formats. Players could buy the game, which would allow access to more content, or they could play it for free, with the option of purchasing additional content via microtransactions. Now Microsoft has announced that those two pricing models are being ditched, in favor of a brand new one that will drastically alter the course of Project Spark‘s future forever.
Starting October 5th, Project Spark will be completely free, with no paid DLC and no microtransactions. This significant transition will be accompanied by a sizable update for the game that will boost the maximum terrain and prop limits, tweak the game’s achievements, increase the amount of upload slots for every creator, and most importantly, it will be adding over 200 new assets for players and creators to tinker with.
Even though interest in Project Spark has largely waned since the game’s launch last year, there were still those that purchased content for the game through DLC and microtransactions. Anyone that has purchased content through Project Spark will be refunded with Microsoft Store credit after the transition is complete.
While all the previously paid content will still be downloadable and enjoy for anyone that has Project Spark installed, this means that DLC that was planned for the future has been canned. Unfortunately, this includes subsequent episodes of Conker’s Big Reunion, an episodic game starring Rare’s iconic foul-mouthed squirrel. Between this news and the footage of a cancelled Conker multiplayer game that was recently released, it’s definitely been a tough week to be a fan of the neglected franchise.
It’s sad that the story of Conker’s Big Reunion will remain unfinished, but hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see Conker back in action. With the sales success of Rare Replay, perhaps Microsoft will be encouraged to properly revisit Rare’s older and more beloved franchises. Conker’s Big Reunion was better than nothing, but most fans would probably prefer a full-fledged Conker’s Bad Fur Day sequel from Rare.
In any case, making Project Spark completely free and open is a surprising move on behalf of Microsoft. Refunding money to players that already have invested in the game is even more surprising, but classy. Perhaps this transition will convince more gamers to try out Project Spark‘s vast creation tools, and the game won’t be forgotten amidst more popular games of the same ilk, such as LittleBigPlanet and Super Mario Maker.
Did you buy anything in Project Spark during the days of its paid model? Will you be giving the game a shot now that it’s going to be completely free? Let us know in the comments if Project Spark‘s new completely free model has piqued your interest.
Project Spark will shift to its new completely free, open creation model on October 5th for PC and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer