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.