Surprise! Civilization 6 is getting 12 new leaders

More than a year after the Civilization 6 Anthology delivered what was billed as "the complete Civ 6 experience, all in one bundle," 2K Games has announced a new season pass that will add a dozen new leaders and six "new takes" on existing ones.

"The Leader Pass encourages you to break out of your comfort zone with new approaches to diplomacy, war, expansion, and more," 2K said. "Each leader arrives with a suite of surprising new or updated abilities alongside inventive new agendas that'll change the way you play over five exciting months of world domination."

As with previous Civ 6 season passes, this one will be doled out across six individual DLC packs, beginning with the Great Negotiators Pack, which will add Abraham Lincoln (United States), Queen Nzinga Mbande (Kongo), and Sultan Saladin (Arabia) to the game on November 21. 

That'll be followed by:

  • Great Commanders Pack (Pack #2): Lead your troops to victory with the Great Commanders Pack, including Tokugawa (Japan), Nader Shah (Persia) (3), and Suleiman the Magnificent (Ottoman Empire) (4);
  • Rulers of China Pack (Pack #3): Establish some new dynasties with the Rulers of China Pack, including Yongle, Qin Shi Huang the Unifier, and Wu Zetian;
  • Rulers of the Sahara Pack (Pack #4): Revisit the cradle of humanity with the Rulers of the Sahara Pack, including Ramses (Egypt), Ptolemaic Cleopatra (Egypt), King Sundiata Keita (Mali) (4);
  • Great Builders Pack (Pack #5): Rebuild the world better than ever with the Great Builders Pack, including Theodora (Byzantines) (5), Sejong (Korea) (6), and Ludwig II (Germany);
  • Ruler of England Pack (Pack #6): Fill out your growing collection of monarchs with the Rulers of England Pack, including Elizabeth I (England), Varangian Harald Hardrada (Norway), and Victoria - Age of Steam (England).

The price of the Leaders Pass and launch dates for each DLC pack haven't been announced, but 2K said they're all scheduled to arrive between November and March 2023. Importantly, all owners of the Civilization 6 Anthology will be given all the DLC content, automatically and for free.

As for why 2K decided to drop a new Civilization 6 season pass more than a year after it said it was finished with the game, the short answer is that people wanted it. 

"Similar to New Frontier Pass, Leader Pass wasn't part of the original scope for Civilization 6," a 2K spokesperson said in a statement sent to PC Gamer. "We decided to create the Leader Pass after we saw the incredible response fans had for New Frontier Pass and their wishes for more Leaders to be added to Civilization 6."

There's no mention of possible plans for new Civilization 6 content beyond the Leaders Pass, but clearly we should never say never—if this is a big enough success, I wouldn't be surprised to see even more historical figures brought to the game in future updates. Of course, we also expect (or at least hope) that Firaxis is also working on Civilization 7: We assume that it's still a long way out, but even so we have some thoughts on how it could reinvigorate the series.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.