Project Spark Goes Out, Pulled From Download

From a tiny spark may burst a mighty flame – or not, in the case of Project Spark. Microsoft’s sandbox game creation game never caught on in the same way as its various inspirations and so it’s now been pulled from download effective immediately.

This comes as little surprise. The developers stopped adding their own new content in October of last year, and the game transitioned from a microtransaction-supported model to an ‘everything is free’ model at the same time. That never seems like a long-term business plan.

Although you can no longer download it from the Windows store, the game itself will continue running until August 12th 2016 for those who already have it installed.

I never played Project Spark – it being doomed to the Windows Store is part of the reason why – but I’m always sad when these kinds of creative games are snuffed out. No matter that it didn’t achieve the popularity of Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet, many people would have spent many hours creating things they care about within Project Spark. I bet there’s some great stuff in there too, because there always is. Project Spark was also different from those other games in how much it let you customise about its world, including not just shifting the appearance but tinkering with the underlying logic of objects.

The game was developed by SkyBox Labs, whose latest game, TASTEE: Lethal Tactics, just recently came out. Alec wrote about its turn-based tactics just last week.

Here’s a trailer of what Spark was hoping to achieve.


  1. Lars Westergren says:

    A very nifty idea, but it had to struggle to get any traction on the PC from the start I suspect. Marketing emphasized the XBox heavily. A Windows 8 exclusive (I think?) when that version was unloved and made PC traditionalists wary. Windows Store, when most PC gamers prefer Steam for convenience (or GoG for the open/DRM free sentiment).

    Microsoft and Google are the kings of launching new platforms with massive marketing campaigns and development budgets most could only dream of, only to silently retire them a year later and go back to their old, entrenched, money-making core business.

    • ersetzen says:

      It is amazing to me how much microsoft seems to push the windows store by throwing money around at exclusives.

      On the other hand the store itself is an utter piece of garbage whose drm breaks basically everything from recording software to graphic card drivers.

      That indirectly also basically guarantees that every game exclusively on there won’t get anything significant in main stream coverage.
      That combined with it’s horrid usability problems – downloads straight out breaking for many people, apps not showing up even if you search for its exact title – means that it is no wonder that every game that does take the money from microsoft to push the store basically seems to be under a death sentence…

  2. Geebs says:

    The Windows Store goes strength to strength, doesn’t it? Not only does it make otherwise decent games crappy, broken, and hard to obtain, it actually makes interesting-sounding games so obscure and unpopular that they get shut down altogether. I never even realised Spark actually got released on the PC.

    Did Halo 2 teach Microsoft nothing?

    • Don Reba says:

      Did Halo 2 teach Microsoft nothing?

      I’m sure a lot of people got nice bonuses for it.

    • fish99 says:

      “I never even realised Spark actually got released on the PC.”

      Yup, I thought it was an xbone exclusive. Nice marketing for the PC version Microsoft.

  3. Zaxwerks says:

    It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy with Microsoft, I think one of the problems is that Microsoft have a tendency (as they have done here) to abandon projects shortly after introducing them, so when they introduce something new, everyone is weary that Microsoft will abandon it after a few months so no-one buys into it and so therefore Microsoft abandons it after a few months… and the cycle continues…

    That’s one of the main reasons I don’t trust the Windows Store, I don’t trust that Microsoft won’t abandon it in a couple of years when they think it’s no longer economical for them and I lose all my purchases, so I don’t buy for the Windows Store.

  4. PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

    Theres a common misconception across the broad spectrum of Microsoft apps that you can templatise creativity.. Thankfully, I’ve never seen it done well yet.

  5. Hedgeclipper says:

    Releasing on Windows store is just silly, might as well cancel the project and save yourself the paperwork.

  6. thecoolwolf says:

    not sure if i have been living under a rock but this news made me really sad since i had been waiting for this to be released on PC.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Same. I always thought of it as an XBone exclusive until now.

      And hell, I like to think I pay attention to gaming media… great job marketing it Microsoft :/

    • Ragnar says:

      Same here. I’ve heard great things about Project Spark, but being a Windows 8 / XB1 exclusive meant that I couldn’t try it out. I wonder if it would have been more successful had it been available on 7.