Microsoft has recently announced that it’s giving up on Project Spark, a set of gaming development solutions that it introduced at Build 2014 to help bring more games in the Windows Store.
Although Project Spark was introduced with much fanfare and adoption seemed to go well at first, excitement dropped quite quickly as more time passed by, so Microsoft now has no other option than to abandon it completely.
Keeping the project alive no longer makes sense, and despite the fact that this “was an extremely difficult decision,” as the company says, it’s the only way to go forward in a business that doesn’t want to stick with projects that do not have a future anymore.
Project Spark will thus go dark later this year, according to the following schedule: the app is no longer available for download on Xbox and Windows starting May 13 while online services will stop working for existing users on August 12.
Customers who purchased Project Spark between June 28, 2015, and October 5, 2015, will receive a refund in their Microsoft accounts, the company explains.
All employees have been reassigned
No employees will be let go following the demise of Project Spark, Microsoft points out, as all workers have been reassigned to other projects or teams across Microsoft Studios.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly. 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,” the Redmond-based software giant says in an announcement today.
“Be sure to download your favorite community creations and your own uploads if they are not saved locally. We’re also aware that after transitioning ‘Project Spark’ to be a free incubation engine last fall, that some players might still have purchased the game at retail, and have outlined steps about obtaining a credit for those players below.”
Developers who want to download user-generated content and access it offline need to get it from servers by August, as everything will be removed after this date.