Surprise! Civilization VI is coming to Nintendo Switch! The announcement was as much of a surprise to Civ publisher 2K games as it was to fans, mostly because it was meant to be revealed with more fanfare. The circumstances suggest that Civ VI on Switch was meant to be part of the most recent Nintendo Direct. The thing is, the Direct was canceled last minute, meaning that 2K just sort of had to quietly say "here's Civ VI on Switch."
When a horrible earthquake hit Hokkaido, Japan, Nintendo decided to cancel Thursday's stream of the new Direct out of respect. The postponement was announced early Thursday morning, and Nintendo didn't give a replacement date, leaving many third party partners with games to advertise and a sudden lack of reveal trailer. It's easy enough for Nintendo to push back its own properties, but what are publishers like 2K games supposed to do?
Apparently they just sort of announce it with nothing but a simple website listing. There wasn't even an official press release or social media post. Many gamers probably would probably be unaware that Civ VI is coming to Switch without sites like Kotaku, who found the listing and shared the news.
Even now, the official website is producing a 404 error, meaning that 2K probably took it down once news began to spread. Before that, Kotaku reported that the site featured a Youtube link for a Civ VI Switch trailer that was broken. Almost as if the video didn't exist because the Nintendo Direct featuring it never happened.
It's a fascinating situation if only because of how rare it is. Many agree Nintendo did the right thing by delaying its announcement in the face of local tragedy. It also just happens to put third party publishers in an awkward position. Many of these publishers are big companies with a marketing department that has been planning this big Nintendo reveal for months. When the PR machine has so many moving parts, stopping the presses isn't a simple task.
So, whether 2K wanted us to find out this way or not, we now know that Civilization VI will come to Nintendo Switch on November 16th.