Update, 2/24/17, 7:29am PST: The free update is now live, and you can take a look at the full list of changes on the game's website. You can also choose to play as the Australians, but it will cost you an additional $5.
Original article, 2/21/17, 9:45am PT:
A new civilization will join the fray in an upcoming premium downloadable content (DLC) pack for Civilization VI. In addition, Firaxis Games also teased some highly demanded features that will arrive with the game’s Summer Update.
You'll be able to play as Australia for the first time in the franchise's history. With Prime Minister John Curtin as the faction’s leading figure, you’ll be able to make considerable progress during peacetime or war. Australia’s unique trait is called “Land Down Under,” which provides cities with additional housing space when they’re built on coastal tiles. Because of this, tiles around the city gain additional Appeal points, which make them a suitable location for Campus, Commercial Hub, Theater or Holy Site districts. To further increase population, you can also build the country’s unique building, the Outback Station, which provides additional Food and Production. Based on the number of adjacent pastures, it will also yield bonus Food points.
Curtin’s special ability, the Citadel of Civilization, is activated when another civilization declares war on Australia or if troops liberate a city. The ability increases Production by 100% so you can quickly create more offensive or defensive units. Speaking of troops, Australia’s unique unit is called the Digger, which replaces the game’s traditional Infantry soldier and has additional power when fighting on enemy territory or tiles that are next to water.
The studio didn’t provide a release date or price for the Australian civilization, but we can expect more news about it in the future. The DLC seems to be bundled with a free update scheduled for the summer. The update will include Steam Workshop and mod tools so that creators can easily share and create new content. Those who prefer online gameplay will also benefit from the update, as it will let you team up with friends to play the game against the AI or human opponents. Similar to additional DLC details, we’ll find out more about the free update in the near future.