Microsoft and Team Dakota, the makers of Project Spark, announced today that the sandbox RPG and creation tool would soon go offline.
Not that it’s hugely surprising. Whatever potential Project Spark might’ve had was mired by an its initial and quite awful microtransaction system. After a fair amount of interest in the project prior to its release, Project Spark was about as dead in the water as they come once it actually released. There was some hope last fall when Microsoft did away with microtransactions all together and made the game completely free, but evidently that didn’t help. Of course that shift also came with the project no longer being actively developed. So even then Microsoft was starting to wind down the project.
Starting today, though, the game will no longer even be downloadable through the Windows/Xbox stores, and on August 12th, the lights for Project Spark will go off permanently. At least Microsoft is reimbursing players to a degree: “Players who purchased and redeemed the “Project Spark Starter Kit” sold in retail outlets will receive a credit to 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. Credits will be granted automatically to eligible customers.”
The announcement also includes some numbers showing that despite the games lack of popularity, it wasn’t completely dead. Team Dakota released 46 content packs for the game, thousands of assets, and 16 total updates, averaging more than one update every two months. In turn, players created hundreds of thousands creations. It’s too bad that the game’s no longer downloadable and now anyone who missed out on the chance to experience Project Spark’s array of custom content will never have the chance.
But I guess this is life in the fast lane.