Minecraft XBLA skin pack earns $500,000 for charity

Halloween Skin Pack -- Minecraft XBLA

On October 26, Minecraft developer Mojang released a new piece of downloadable content for the Xbox Live Arcade iteration of the title, appropriately dubbed the “Halloween Skin Pack.” As you’d expect from its name, the pack includes an additional 55 skins for the game’s human characters that were all created to capture the spooky mood of the holiday. Likewise, you might have already guessed that Minecraft fans have been snatching up digital copies of this pack en masse since the first day it was available.

By itself this would not be notable, but since the Halloween Skin Pack was designed specifically to raise money for charity, that brisk business Mojang is doing in the Xbox Live Marketplace is impressively altruisitic. Especially when you learn that after only two weeks of availability, the pack has already pulled down “half a million dollars.”

That figure comes from PlayXBLA and while it fails to offer a breakdown of specific numbers, it does offer exuberant thanks to players for making this pack such a success, while serving up all the details you might need to join in on the fundraising yourself. The key thing to know here is that this pack is only available for a limited time, so if you haven’t already downloaded the $2 skin pack from the Xbox Live Marketplace, you have until November 26 to lay down your cash.

But say that pure charity isn’t enough motivation for you. Maybe you like the idea of helping others, but without getting something concrete in return you’d rather that the outside world just collapsed in on itself. Fortunately, the Halloween Skin Pack offers a pretty sizable selection of aesthetic bonuses for your two bucks. Have a look at the full list, including information on which developer designed the custom skin(s):

Vampire – 343 Industries

The Grim Reaper, Devil, Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, Werewolf, Ghost, Evil Wizard, Bride of Dracula, Bride of Frakenstein, Ghoul, Scary Clown – 4J Studios

Dracula, Frakenstien, Pumpkin, Skeleton, Mummy, Wolfman – Army of Trolls

Zombie Businessman, Cyclops, Evil Clown, Evil Robot, Vampire Girl, Grey, Headless Horseman, Lizard Man, Scarecrow, Scary Nom, Mad Scientist, Skeleton, Witch Doctor, Zombie  – Climax Studios

Evil Robot – Mojang

Zombie Jack Lumber – Owlchemy Labs

Evil Lemmy, Evil Max – Press Play

Gregg the Grim Reaper, Ancient Mummy, Zippy Zombie – Rare

Zombie Lonestar – Ronimo Games

Cyborg Pumpkinhead, Mara – Ska Studios

Mining Unit 010, Jacko, Bonny – Tequila Works

Hatty – The Behemoth

Happy Zombie Cleric, Happy Zombie Mage, Happy Zombie Warrior – Toylogic

Captain Zombie, The Gunstringer, Ms. Splosion Man Mask, Skelly, Splodeton – Twisted Pixel Games

Further, PlayXBLA claims that “for the first time ever with the Xbox 360 Edition skins, some of the skins feature cool capes,” so if your intrepid avatar has been missing that crucial superhero vibe, now would be a good time to rectify that. If nothing else, at least the cash you spend on this DLC will be used to help society as a whole, instead of just lining the pockets of some faceless publisher. That seems like a change for the positive.

Emerging Tech

A.I. finds non-infringing ways to copy drugs pharma spends billions developing

Researchers have demonstrated an artificial intelligence which can find new methods for producing existing pharmaceuticals in a way that doesn’t infringe on existing patents. Here's how.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.
Gaming

Overkill’s ‘The Walking Dead’ delayed indefinitely for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been postponed without a new release date. The co-op zombie shooter suffered massive delays, then received lukewarm reviews once it launched for the PC through Steam.
Product Review

‘Resident Evil 2' is a terrifying new virus you'll want to catch

Resident Evil 2 brings the Raccoon City incident to a new generation of players, acting both as a nostalgic throwback and a thoroughly modern horror game with some of the best visuals of the generation.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update makes you the most dangerous snowman ever

The latest content update for Epic Games' Fortnite adds the Sneaky Snowman item, turning players into stealthy masters of disguise. The update also changes the Sniper Shootout game mode.
Gaming

Having issues with your PS4? Check out our solutions to its most common problems

Just because the PlayStation 4 is a remarkable system doesn't mean that it's immune to the occasional hiccup. Thankfully, we've vetted some of the bigger PS4 problems and found solutions for whatever might ail you.
Gaming

‘Resident Evil 2’ will get free mode called ‘The Ghost Survivors’

Resident Evil 2 will be getting a free post-launch DLC mode which will feature characters not playable in the game's main campaign. No release date has been given for the new mode.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC