Following the announcement of Project Spark for Xbox One at E3 2013, Project Spark became a free-to-use product. Today, Microsoft pulled the plug on the free suite of game creation tools.
As of today, Spark is no longer available for download from Windows Store or Xbox Live Marketplace, according to a blog from community manager Thomas Gratz. All services related to Project Spark will be discontinued after August 12 of this year.
"Without services, players will no longer be able to download user-generated content or upload their own creations," Gratz wrote. "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."
No employees were let go following news of the product's discontinuation.
Initially available at retail, Project Spark went free-to-use last fall in the form of an incubation engine. Microsoft is aware that some players might have purchased the game before learning of the switch in pricing, and has outlined a way for those consumers to obtain credit on their Microsoft account.
"If you purchased and redeemed the code inside a retail copy of Project Spark after Oct. 5, 2015 and before today, you will receive a credit that can be used to purchase content in the Xbox or Windows store."
Credit should be automatically applied for eligible consumers.
David Craddock posted a new article, Report: Microsoft pulls the plug on Project Spark
"No employees were let go following this news..."
I suspect employees were let go long before this news. Ever since Microsoft did their first-ever layoffs in 2008, they've been too eager to let entire teams go.
A lot of the team moved on or left Microsoft a while back.
Not particularly surprising. It was a neat idea that never really found a home. It was too complicated for the Minecraft folks and too dumbed down for proper mod makers. There's just not much demand for something in the middle.
The truth: "We were unable to find an effective way to stop people from making penises."