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Civ 6 is getting eight new civs, and the first two are out next week

Developer Firaxis has unveiled a brand new season pass - here's what's in it

Civilization VI is getting a new season pass. Named the New Frontier Pass, it will add eight new civilisations, nine new leaders, and six new game modes, spread across six bimonthly DLC packs.

Better yet, the first of these packs will launch in just ten days’ time on May 21. It will add the Maya and Gran Colombia civs and the new Apocalypse game mode, which features new and more destructive natural disasters, as well as new city-states, resources, and natural wonders (such as the Bermuda Triangle and Paititi). The civs’ leaders are still under wraps, but will be revealed in a brace of Civ VI’s customary First Look trailers ahead of release.

The remaining DLC packs are scheduled to release every two months – Ethiopia is due in July – meaning that Civ fans have almost a year of regular new content to look forward to. Developer Firaxis is also promising free updates in between each new DLC injection, featuring new maps, scenarios, balance tweaks, “and more.” That’s a far more active and robust update schedule than fans have been used to.

You can get the entire New Frontier Pass for $39.99 (or £32.99), and if you do so, you get an exclusive bonus: the Teddy Roosevelt and Catherine de Medici ‘persona’ packs. This is a new thing for Civ: each persona pack features a new ‘take’ on its leader, with a reskin, a new background, new gameplay bonuses, and an updated agenda reflecting their changed personality. ‘Magnificence Catherine’, for instance, can use luxuries to overwhelm the world with culture and tourism. The persona packs are due to arrive alongside Ethiopia in July.

Apart from the slightly weird Red Death game mode, things have been pretty quiet on the Civ front since the release of Civ VI’s second expansion, Gathering Storm. A survey polling fans about future content had players speculating that Firaxis wasn’t finished with the game, but with no further word from the studio it wasn’t clear what shape any future content would take.

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Now we know. And while it isn’t a third full expansion, there’s plenty here to look forward to. Civ fans have enjoyed Firaxis’s imaginative alternate game modes ever since Civ V’s steampunk Empires of the Smoky Skies, and as a big fan of Gathering Storm’s civ design, I’m looking forward to seeing what the new civs will bring to the game. It’s also nice to feel that Civ is alive again, with free updates and new paid content scheduled out to March 2021.

We got the chance to probe a little deeper on the New Frontier Pack in an interview with lead designer Anton Strenger, who laid out what the new season pass brings to the game and why Firaxis went with this format.