Microsoft is bringing the curtains down on its Project Spark, the online tool that enabled enthusiasts to develop games, movies and such for Xbox One and Windows PCs.
The Redmond-based company further revealed in the Project Spark forum that the online game creator has already been pulled from the Windows Store and Xbox Store since May 15 while online support for the same will cease post Aug. 12.
As such, users won’t be able to download or upload their own creation from Aug. 12 onwards. All such activities will have to be completed before the stipulated date for continued offline access to content from their favorite communities.
Further, anyone who might have bought a retail version of Project Spark will be compensated with a credit note which will be added to their Microsoft account.
Spark has been in existence since 2013 when it was launched as a platform where developers could upload their creations. Those were available for others to download, thereby leading to the creation of a community comprising mostly of say domestic or first-time game developers.
Team Dakota community manager Thomas Gratz has stated it was a tough decision to eventually shut down Spark but were forced to go for it owing to the growing overhead in rolling out updates and bug fixes needed to keep Spark running. Gratz though stated there were no layoffs involved with several of the employees from the Spark team accommodated to other projects within Microsoft Studio.
The decision to kill off Spark comes on the back of a string of such similar moves on part of Microsoft, which includes shutting down support for the Sunrise Calendar App while the Lionhead too has been shut down.
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While the two can be separate developments, the idea behind it all could be to consolidate Microsoft’s existing resources and to continue with only those that offered a distinct and well defined functionality. For instance, the Sunrise Calendar App has been done away with since all of its functionalities have already been made available on Outlook for Android and iOS, thus negating the need for users to download another app. So while the Sunrise Calendar app might not be there, all of its features continue to live.
Similarly, the famous British studio Lionhead has been shut down owing to the high costs involved in running it while there weren’t significant returns from the investments thus made.