Project Spark loses Spark Time microtransactions, introduces Spark Premium

In previous versions of Project Spark, players were allotted 40 minutes of free Spark Time every day. Spark Time, despite its perky name, was limiting: you could only play user-made levels built with paid content you hadn't purchased or features unlocked above your current level for 40 minutes each day. If you wanted to play more, you could use in-game credits or pay real world cash for tokens to buy more Spark Time. Purchased Spark Time came with bonus XP and bonus credits, but those would-be customer loyalty perks still rankled players that felt that they were blocked from content for insidious reasons. No more.

Eager to respond to negative feedback, Microsoft announced changes to the game on Tuesday that should mollify fans upset with pay gates in the upcoming Xbox One and PC video game builder. Just as the Xbox One Project Spark beta opened up to all players, developer Team Dakota completely removed Spark Time from the game.

Other microtransactions were transformed rather than excised. Spark Power remains on sale in Project Spark, though it's now called Spark Premium. Spark Power allowed you to play levels with DLC or level-blocked content indefinitely with no need to worry about Spark Time, and it granted a 200 percent boost to experience and credits earned. As Spark Premium, players just get the experience and credit boosts, making it easing to unlock new content in the game.

Microsoft's added 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month Spark Premium purchase options to the existing 1-day and 1-month options, making Project Spark into a more subscription-centric experience rather than one defined by piecemeal purchases.
[Images: Microsoft]
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This article was originally published on Joystiq.