The Minecraft Team officially has broken the seal on wide-scale use of its Minecraft Marketplace. Downloads for November were 4,566,013. That’s double the 2,255,888 downloads from October. Once again, free content was a major driver for that growth. But that huge influx of players to the store could spill over into real purchases — especially considering what is launching in Minecraft just in time for the year-end holidays.

Beginning today, December 20, The Minecraft Team is launching the Season of Giving event. Only it is Microsoft, Mojang, and its creator partners doing the giving. As part of this celebration, you will get a bunch of in-game content for free.

Holiday events are turning into a bigger tradition in video games. A big reason for that is that developers that run games as services want to engage with players who are spending Christmas playing on their new consoles, laptops, smartphones, and TVs. For years now, mobile games have capitalized on that by releasing content just in time for December 25. And now Minecraft and Fortnite are doing the same on console and PC.

Did you say free?

The Season of Giving freebies include a new adventure map from the creation team Gamemode One called Catastrophic Pandamonium. While that might sound like a disaster, I encourage you to notice the puns. CATastrophic PANDAmonium is indeed a showcase for the cat and panda animal creatures that got an update (cats) or debuted (pandas) in the latest patch.

But Catastrophic Pandamonium isn’t the only gift The Minecraft Team has in store for you. You can also get special discounts as part of a holiday deals promotion that is running through January 3.

Above: Gifts are only available for a limited time.

Image Credit: The Minecraft Team

Finally, on Christmas Day, the Minecraft Marketplace is getting a free Winter Gifts Bundle with plenty of extra goods.

Top 10 most downloaded

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  1. Inspiration Island by Minecraft: “Visit Inspiration Island, a floating theme park world filled with creative challenges. Whether you are new to Creative Mode or just need a little extra inspiration, a visit here sets you on the path to craft your own groundbreaking worlds.”
  2. Purple Parrot Party Place by Minecraft: “A celebration of all things purple parrot party and palace! Master the mechanics of fireworks, armor stands, jukeboxes, and banners. Traverse a jungle island to find a massive parrot temple.”
  3. Legacy Skin Pack by Minecraft: “Get cracking with these starter skins and old favorites brought over from Minecraft editions of yore.”
  4. Grid Runners by Noxcrew: “Take on Noxcrew’s Grid Runners: a minigame map made up of classic Minecraft challenges where you can craft, mine and jump your way to victory. Compete against the clock for the fastest times and team up with all of your friends to find out who is the ultimate Minecraft champion! This is a free map, created exclusively for Minecon Earth 2018.”
  5. ABSTRACTION: Minecon Earth by Jigarbov Productions: “Featuring the logos that were just begging to be played on, MINECON EARTH has floating landmasses with a surprising amount of hidden secrets and challenges.”
  6. Luxury Life by PixelHeads: “Luxury Life is a world where you role-play life as a billionaire. Cruise the streets in a sports car or any of the 10 other vehicles, explore luxurious mansions and decorate with furniture!”
  7. Aquatic Life by Cyclone Designs: “Get ready for a realistic aquarium experience with Aquatic Life! Dive into large tanks and swim with whale sharks! Discover dangerous shark species and hop on a boat and feed the Piranhas!”
  8. Anime Day School by Sil3ntWxlf and TeamVisionary: “Experience going to school in style with Anime Day School.”
  9. City Mash-Up by Everbloom Studios: “With over 1,000 hand-detailed rooms, there are stories, secrets, and mini-games around every corner. Build with the city’s full texture pack in your own worlds or take on any role you can imagine!”
  10. Haunted Swamp Survival by Everbloom Studios: “Gnarly trees, a ghastly maze, and an abandoned mansion; these are just some of the things you’ll find as you explore this mysterious survival spawn.”

Top 10 highest grossing

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  1. City Mash-Up by Everbloom Studios: “With over 1,000 hand-detailed rooms, there are stories, secrets, and mini-games around every corner. Build with the city’s full texture pack in your own worlds or take on any role you can imagine!”
  2. Luxury Life by PixelHeads: “Luxury Life is a world where you role-play life as a billionaire. Cruise the streets in a sports car or any of the 10 other vehicles, explore luxurious mansions and decorate with furniture!”
  3. Aquatic Life by Cyclone Designs: “Get ready for a realistic aquarium experience with Aquatic Life! Dive into large tanks and swim with whale sharks! Discover dangerous shark species and hop on a boat and feed the Piranhas!”
  4. CampCraft by Blockworks: “A vast wilderness awaits you and your friends in CampCraft. Discover forest animals, ride camper vans, toast marshmallows, sit around the campfire and set up your own camp!”
  5. Immersion: Chicago: “Immerse yourself in Chicago, the windy city. Visit the river with your friends, race through the streets and roleplay your daily life.”
  6. Movie Star by Noxcrew: “Direct and star in your very own films with Noxcrew’s Movie Star Creative Toolbox! With dozens of scripts and pre-built scenes, this map is great for roleplay and learning to build.”
  7. City Life by PixelHeads: “Cruise through the big city in City Life! Chase down a bandit in your police car, save the day as a firefighter or take your dog for a walk.”
  8. Super Cute Texture Pack by Minecraft: “The Super Cute Texture Pack lets you create a cheerful world full of the cutest and cuddliest mobs! Bouncing bunnies, ultra-adorable unicorns, brilliant bumblebees and, er, burgers? Yes, burgers! This texture pack comes with 15 skins.”
  9. Cruise Ship Roleplay by Everbloom Studios: “Welcome aboard! You’re the Assistant General Manager on this voyage across the sea. And it’s your job to lend a helping all around the ship, so our guests have the ultimate vacation!”
  10. Zombie Apocalypse by PixelHeads: “Explore a run-down, overgrown city taken over by cyborg zombies. To survive, you must scavenge for food and weapons, and fight off the zombies!”