Unity 2017.4.0 was released on 20th March 2018. It was our first Long Term Support (LTS) version and a significant shift in how we support Unity releases. The next release, 2017.4.40, will be the last in the 2017-stream. With 2019 LTS due to be released soon, it is time to end support for 2017 LTS with monthly bug fixes.
With the LTS in addition to the TECH stream releases, you have great flexibility to pick the release which fits your needs best, depending on where you are in your development cycle. The LTS stream offers a stable version of Unity for those who want to focus on development without taking in new features.
Since Unity 2017.4 was released two years ago, it is now reaching the end of its support cycle from the week beginning 20th April 2020 as originally announced. This means that 2017.4.40 will be the last release for the 2017 version. You are of course still free to use the 2017.4.X versions of Unity, but no patches will be available with bug fixes after the last version is released.
This also means we highly recommend that you consider upgrading your project either to 2018.4 (2018 LTS) or to the soon-to-be-released 2019 LTS. To help you upgrade your project, we recommend having a look at our upgrade guides for the versions that were released between the one you’re currently using and the upgrade version you’re targeting.
If you can’t upgrade directly (eg., 2017.4 > 2018.4), incremental upgrades (2017.4 > 2018.1 > 2018.2 > 2018.4) can help by keeping changes to a minimum, allowing you to deal with arising issues one at a time.
For complex productions with a high number of dependencies, our Success Plans are available for purchase to help you ensure the upgrade process goes smoothly. If you’d like to learn more about Core Support or Integrated Success Services plans, please inquire here.
Just like the Unity 2017 LTS, 2018 LTS doesn’t have any new features, API changes or improvements, compared to the 2018.3 TECH stream release. Instead, the LTS updates include fixes for crashes, regressions, and issues that affect the wider community, such as, console SDK/XDK, or any major changes that would prevent a large section of users from shipping their game. We’re committed to providing these updates for two years from the initial release date. In the case of 2018 LTS, that means the support period will end in spring 2021.
Unity 2019 LTS (2019.4.0) will ship along with 2020.1 towards the end of spring 2020. In the meantime, we will continue to support the other LTS version, Unity 2018.4, with releases every other week. However, when 2019.4 is released, 2018.4 will become the legacy LTS and hence will be updated once every month. Instead, it will be the 2019 LTS version that will receive bi-weekly updates.
We’re also reducing the number of TECH stream releases from three to two per year. The 2020.1 TECH stream release is scheduled for spring 2020 and the 2020.2 release for the fall of 2020. The cadence for updates with bug fixes and regressions remains unchanged. We are doing this based on your wishes to receive fewer major releases, but more timely package updates that improve the stability and quality of our tools.
We will also revamp our current Beta program to offer users an option to communicate more directly with Unity development teams as we design the future of Unity together. If you’re interested in hearing more, sign up for our beta newsletter and follow the beta forum.