Microsoft yesterday announced that it will be shutting down its game creating game, Project Spark by the end of the year. The game is no longer on sale, and those who have invested in it will be credited with a refund in the future.
“For existing users of Project Spark, online services will be unavailable after 8/12/16,” community manager Thomas Gratz wrote on their website. “Without services, players will no longer be able to download user-generated content or upload their own creations. 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.”
It’s a sad time, seeing another studio shutting down, especially so soon after the closure of Lionhead, but business is business and perhaps the game wasn’t performing as well as Microsoft would have hoped. The idea was sound, but with games like Minecraft letting players’ imaginations run loose, Project Spark just couldn’t match the juggernaut title despite allowing players to create worlds, adventures and games within the game. It launched late in 2014 but two years is all it could survive.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly. 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.”