It has been revealed that Civilization 6 players on Xbox One will have to pay for content that will be available to PS4 players for free. Fans had been excited to learn that Civilization 6 would be coming to consoles, but the news of the freebie will likely be disappointing to some.
A press release from Civilization 6 publisher 2K states that because of a promotion with Sony, PS4 players will get the Nubia Civilization & Scenario Pack as well as the Khmer and Indonesia Civilization & Scenario Pack when they buy the game. These Civilization 6 DLC packs "will be available for separate purchase on Xbox One," explains the publisher, though it doesn't say how much money they will cost.
The decision to provide this freebie seems like an odd choice. PS4 and Xbox One players will get four other Civilization 6 DLC packs, such as the Vikings Scenario Pack and Australia Civilization & Scenario Pack, so it seems strange for PS4 players to be given two more pieces of free content. The game's release on consoles is also meant to welcome new players into the community, says the 2K press release, but the decision to make Xbox One players pay for more content seems alienating.
It's also strange when looking at Microsoft's relationship with PC gamers. Microsoft makes the Windows operating system, which is what the Civilization games are mostly played on, and with Xbox Game Pass for PC Microsoft has shown itself as a company that does care a great deal about its PC gamers. While Sony does offer services like PlayStation Now, which allow players to access games like Red Dead Redemption and The Last of Us on PC, it doesn't have that same reputation with PC gamers like Microsoft.
The decision may also be criticized as it follows another raw deal for players on the Xbox One console. This week it was also confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Specs Ops Survival mode will be exclusive to PS4 players for nearly a year before Xbox One players are able to enjoy it. It's a business move to get more people buying PS4 consoles, but that doesn't mean that fans have to be happy with it.
It's unclear what, if anything, Microsoft can do to assuage these complaints about deals and exclusivity. Microsoft may be unwilling to put up the money, as it could damage its status in the eyes of players that might eventually buy an Xbox console.
Civilization 6 is available for PC, iOS, and Switch, with the PS4 and Xbox One version coming on November 22.