Microsoft and Team Dakota are shutting down Project Spark. From May 13, the user-generated video game will no longer be available for download on the Xbox Marketplace or Windows Store. Players won’t be able to upload their own creations.

Project Spark is a “digital canvas” in which users are allowed to make new games, movies and build other visual experiences. At the same time, players can download user-generated content or use content of their own. The platform works with Xbox controllers, keyboards, mouses, touch devices and Kinect.

Online services will stop working since August 12. Existing users who want to access user-generated content offline, need to download packs before that date. Moreover, they need to locally save their own uploads, in order to continue using them.

Microsoft and Team Dakota are shutting down Project Spark. Photo credit: Den of Geek
Microsoft and Team Dakota are shutting down Project Spark. Photo credit: Den of Geek

Developers said they are aware that some users have paid for the game at retail, even after it started a transition last fall, to be a “free incubation engine”. As a result, they have announced new measures to offer those players a Microsoft credit.

When the development of the game was cancelled, many team members continued their journeys and projects in Microsoft Studios, said Project Spark in a press release issued Friday. Developers said they have not taken that decision lightly.

“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,” said Project Spark.

Players who have purchased Project Spark will automatically receive a Microsoft credit on their accounts

Even when the video game is being cancelled, developers want to commemorate the achievements of the team, community of creators and players. A Project Spark statement said the team released 46 content packs since it was released in December 2013, as an open beta for Windows.

The Project Spark team has also produced live streams and videos to show new features of the game and celebrate a community full of content-creators. On the other hand, thousands of fans have uploaded their creations, including objects, behaviors and experiences.

Developers said in a letter they want to thank everyone who contributed and played Project Spark. There are several fan sites, tutorials, forums and apps related to the game. The team said that iIt “would have never existed without fans”.

Players who purchased the game before October 5, 2015, in retail outlets, will automatically receive a credit on their Microsoft accounts. Credits can be used to buy new content in the Xbox or Windows store, said Project Spark.

Source: Project Spark Press Release