Microsoft is killing Project Spark, its ambitious cross-platform creation game

Project Spark is dead, not just resting.

We saw it coming last fall, and now the reality is here: Project Spark is dead. Microsoft removed its game-creation platform from the Windows Store and the Xbox Marketplace on Friday.

Project Spark, which lets users create games with no coding experience necessary, went into “maintenance mode” in September. At that time, Microsoft stopped active development of the platform but continued to operate it as “a free incubation engine.” The company unlocked all previously paid downloadable content—character packs, themes, etc.—and continued to operate the online services for the platform. That will all end soon.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team...It’s simply no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping “Project Spark” up and running,” Microsoft said in an announcement on the Project Spark forums.

You can no longer download Project Spark, but the online services will continue to operate until August 12. Spark users have until then to download any content they want to store locally.

Microsoft said anyone who purchased a retail copy of Project Spark—before it went 100 percent free—will automatically receive credit to their Microsoft account.

project spark zombie

The story behind the story: The end of Project Spark is also arguably the end of Microsoft’s ‘three screens and the cloud’ (3SC) vision for gaming: a world of seamless gaming where you could play the same game on smartphones, PCs, and the television. The other major product in Microsoft’s 3SC future was Lionhead’s Fable Legends. That game was canceled in March, but a recent behind-the-scenes tell all from Eurogamer claims that now-shuttered Lionhead studio didn’t actually want to create the game and only did it to “appease Microsoft’s push for ‘three screens and the cloud’.”

While the notion of three screens and the cloud didn’t really work out for gaming it’s still alive in general computing—even if the term isn’t used anymore. Microsoft’s vision for Windows 10 is to offer a singular platform for PCs, phones, and the Xbox that integrates your files and content via the cloud. No one is really buying Windows 10 Mobile devices, of course, but at least it has two healthy screens, the cloud, and a smattering of apps on Android and iOS devices.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftXbox One

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?