Confirming my suspicions after months of near total silence, Team Dakota confirmed on Friday, May 13th that the DIY game, Project Spark, would no longer be available to download on Windows or Xbox One platforms. While interested players were caught off guard and can no longer access Project Spark, those who still have it installed can download and save any community creations through August 12th, 2016. I can also confirm that the game may be re-downloaded through your Microsoft account purchase history but that link will most likely break in August.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly,” writes Thomas Gratz, Community Manager, on the Project Spark forums. “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.”
Prior to the Fall 2015 update, Project Spark was released in a physical “Starter Kit” at retail, though the box contains only a download code and no disc. Those who purchased the physical edition and redeemed the code between October 5th, 2015 and May 13th, 2016 will receive a credit to their Microsoft account.
It’s always sad to see a game get delisted or cancelled but it’s especially painful for Project Spark as the creations of its users, supporters and fans will ultimately be deleted. My personal condolences go out to everyone who even dabbled with the game’s creation tools. In a sense we’re all being delisted alongside Project Spark come August 12th.