Microsoft pulls the plug on Project Spark

Project Spark was something that had started out with such great promise. The tool was free for everyone, and allowed average, everyday gamers to get creative and see if they could make their own games. It also served as a game in itself, adding to all the promise it held when it was launched. But now, it looks like Microsoft is officially giving up on the project, as it announced this week that it has cancelled Project Spark, removing it from its stores and confirming that support for the tool would cease on August 12, after two years, 46 DLC packs, and 16 updates.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly,” said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the cancellation. “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.”

On August 12, Microsoft will be ending support for Project Spark, meaning its online services will no longer be usable. That also means anyone who owns Project Spark would no longer be able to upload their creations, or download those of others. Anything you downloaded for offline play would still be available to enjoy, but you’ll also have to make sure you do not delete it; as the end of support means the end of cloud services, you won’t be able to retrieve your backups.

If there’s a silver lining to it all, it’s that Microsoft is not laying off anyone who was involved with Project Spark. The people behind the project have been reassigned to different departments. And those who bought the Project Spark Starter Kit after October 5, 2015 will get an automatic credit to future Xbox or Microsoft Store purchases.