Microsoft confirms that video game creation title Project Spark is being shut down, with the game no longer available to download and online services to be closed in August.
When Project Spark was initially revealed back at E3 2013, there were signs that the title was going to be highly impressive. Offering up a diverse and more complex video game creation toolset in comparison to rivals such as LittleBigPlanet, many hoped that the project would turn into something special. Unfortunately, it seems as though the experiment is coming to a close, with Microsoft confirming that the game is being shut down.
In a post over on the official Project Spark website, community manager Thomas Gratz announced the news. As it turns out, Project Spark has already been removed from both the Xbox Marketplace and the Windows Store, meaning that it can no longer be downloaded by curious gamers. What’s more, online services such as accessing user-created content will no longer be available as of 12 August, 2016.
Gratz then outlined exactly what this means for players. “Without services, players will no longer be able to download user-generated content or upload their own creations,” explained the community manager. “If you want to access user-generated content offline, you will need to download this content prior to 8/12/16. Be sure to download your favorite community creations and your own uploads if they are not saved locally.” Meanwhile, those who purchased a Project Spark starter pack (which received positive reviews upon release) may be eligible for a refund, with users set to receive a credit to their Microsoft account.
Although Project Spark is shutting down, thankfully there are going to be no layoffs, due to members of staff having already moved on to different projects within Microsoft Studios. The victims of other high-profile Microsoft closures, of course, have not been so lucky. Lionhead Studios suffered from closure after Fable Legends saw cancellation – even though there were apparently multiple buyers interested in the developer.
The running down of Project Spark unfortunately does not come as much of a surprise. The title went completely free-to-play last fall, removing the previous starter pack and microtransaction pricing structure. This move also brought to an end the additional content framed around iconic 3D platform character Conker.
Users of the platform will no doubt be disappointed to see Project Spark facing closure, as in spite of its flaws it did manage to captivate the imagination of a fair few users. In the end, however, Microsoft has clearly decided that resources are better spend elsewhere. Let’s hope that Dreams, a fluid creation title developed by Media Molecule that recently showcased a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the development process, has better luck when it sees commercial release.
Source: Project Spark