Microsoft has announced plans to shut down Project Spark, its game creation tool for Xbox One and PC. Specifically, Microsoft states that starting today, May 13, the Project Spark client will no longer be available to download from the Windows Store or Xbox Marketplace. Existing users will lose access to the tool's online services starting on August 12 — meaning you'll no longer be able to download or upload user-generated content.
Microsoft says its decision to pull the plug on Project Spark is simply a matter of circumstance following the reallocation of team members to other projects. From Microsoft:
This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly. When "Project Spark" transitioned away from active development last fall, many of our team members moved to other projects within Microsoft Studios. While this means there have been no layoffs at Microsoft, it also means 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.
This follows a decision in late 2015 to make Project Spark and all of its content free. Microsoft notes that if you happened to purchase and redeem a "Project Spark Starter Kit" from a retail store, you will receive credit to your Microsoft account.