Unity announces Unity 6
Unity has announced that the next Long Term Support release of the game engine and real-time renderer will be called Unity 6 when it is released in 2024.
Announced during the keynote at the Unite 2023 user conference, Unity 6 will mark a return to the software’s original version numbering.
The firm said that it intended to “bring back the clarity” of its original numbering system “in one powerful, polished version”.
A switch back to Unity’s old version numbering
Unity 6 marks a break with the past in several ways, most obviously in its version numbering.
For the past six years, Unity has numbered updates that introduce new features to the software – since 2020, there have been two per year – according to the year of their release.
The current version, released during Unite 2023, is Unity 2023.2, for example.
Those ‘tech stream’ updates would be followed by a Long Term Support release the next year, which would continue to receive regular bugfix updates for a period of two years.
Under that convention, the next LTS version, although released in 2024, would actually – and somewhat confusingly – have been Unity 2023 LTS.
Unity 6 will remove that ambiguity by shifting the software back to its old naming convention.
The first long-term support release to qualify for Unity’s new runtime fee
Unity 6 is also a break with the past in that it will be the first version of the software for which Unity’s controversial new Unity Runtime Fee comes into force.
Developers of larger games – those above an annual revenue threshold and lifetime install count – will pay either a per-install fee or 2.5% of revenue, on top of the existing subscriptions.
Game Developer has a good analysis of the relationship between the change in pricing model and the new version numbering, and how it will affect future support updates.
Release date and price
Unity 2024 is due for release in 2024. Unity hasn’t announced an exact date, but Unity 2022 LTS, the current annual Long Term Support release, became available in June.
You can find details of Unity’s new pricing policy in this story.
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