Microsoft have announced via the Xbox Wire that on October 5th, Project Spark will transition from its microtransaction model to a free and open creation engine. This will automatically unlock previously paid downloadable content for new and existing Project Spark users.
Microsoft will pivot from producing DLC and active feature development to encouraging more user generated content and opening the Project Spark experience.
“Project Spark’s goal has always been to empower creativity. We’ve been an incubation engine for ideas from epic to artistic and we plan to continue doing so,” said Rahul Sandil, Head of Project Spark Acquisition/Engagement. “Project Spark inspires and empowers over 200,000 creators who have shared tens of millions of custom objects, behaviors and experiences. Every day we see anywhere between 300 and 400 new games being uploaded on our platform. Our support of these creators and our communications with them will continue in an open, free and collaborative environment.”
But what about me? I spent loads of money in that game. Do I lose out?
No, in fact, you get a refund! “digital content on or after July 28, 2015, purchased and activated retail discs on or after July 28, 2015 or have a remainder balance of purchased in-game tokens will be entitled to Microsoft Store credit equivalent to their money spent. “[…] all players who have purchased Project Spark digital content on or after July 28, 2015, purchased and activated retail discs on or after July 28, 2015 or have a remainder balance of purchased in-game tokens will be entitled to Microsoft Store credit equivalent to their money spent.” You should expect to receive your refund between 30 and 60 days after October 5th.
Alongside this news, a number of new content and features will be added to Project Spark available on October 5 for creators, including:
- The maximum terrain limit in creations has been doubled
- The maximum prop limit in creations has been increased by 500
- 200+ new assets have been added in game, including a dragon, goblin warlord, bog biome and a set of new primitive building blocks
- Each creator will now have a total of 100 Upload Slots for their creations
- UGC ranking will be based on downloads and favorites, instead of upvote/downvote ratings
- The Project Spark Marketplace has been removed
- The Project Spark Tour and Treasure Trove have been removed
- Achievements have been revamped for players and creators
[Source: Xbox Wire]