Unity 2019 LTS is now available, as announced via a blog post from Unity chief product officer Brett Bibby.
The long-term support version of Unity 2019 contains everything from the previous three TECH steam releases, and includes all the fixes and improvements added to Unity 2019.3 since its release earlier this year.
Developers adopting the 2019 LTS will benefit from the features made available from Unity 2019.1, 2019.2 and 2019.3. This includes a major UI overhaul (featuring new icons, a new font, visual feedback, and much more to improve usability, legibility and performance, as well as to support high-DPI display resolutions), a more efficient Quick Search, a Shortcut Manager and customisable presets.
Other workflow updates include the Asset Import Pipeline V2, the Addressable Asset System (which allows users to load assets by “name” while “automatically handling asset management overhead by simplifying content pack creation and deployment”) as well as UIElements, which helps users to create Editor tools with reusable styling, complex layouts while achieving better performance.
The full list of features included in the 2019 LTS can be found on the Unity blog post.
As of the release of the 2019 LTS, the long-term support releases will now be treated as the default version of the Unity platform. Additionally, Unity has committed to reducing the number of TECH steam releases from three to two per year, in order to enable more stable use of the platform. As Bibby states in the blog post:
“We are reducing the number of TECH stream releases from three to two per year in order to enable more stable use of the platform. More and more features are being distributed as packages and are being continuously updated and the longer release cycle provides the extended stabilization phase needed to validate and improve the stability and quality of our tools in between releases. As a result you will have fewer major releases to upgrade between updates.”
Unity recommends the 2019 LTS to developers whose games are close to shipping, in order to ensure maximum stability. In particular, Unity recommends that developers currently building on the 2017 LTS should upgrade to this new release, as the two-year support for the 2017 version ended in April 2020 (Unity’s upgrade guide is available here).
Unity has also shared its release plans for Unity 2020. According to Bibby, Unity intends to release 2020.1 in the next few weeks, and will include more usability improvements as well as stabilised workflows to features introduced in previous releases. More information on Unity 2020.1 can be found on the beta blog post.
In other Unity news, earlier this year MCV/DEVELOP reached out to Brett Bibby, as well as a number of leading Unity developers, to get an understanding of the engine’s range and popularity.