And here we are... Unity 5.6 is out: this version marks the end of previous Unity licensing agreement. Next version will be named "Unity 2017" and will only be available to subscribers, making ours permanent licenses useless.
I have to say that 5.6 is packed with a lot of improvements, at least in principle. Major 2D features finally implemented, major rendering additions and particles now are way better, not to mention Vulkan support (finally!). GPU instancing seems now usable out of the box, and this is a major step forward.
We also notice Facebook Gameroom being added to the platforms natively supported along with many VR improvements. We welcome the video player as well: we waited a very long time for this! On the API side we do notice depenetration method added, along with a new set of IMGUI handles, and way more control on animation, quite nice.
On the lighting side of things, given all the disillusions we suffered over times, we wait to rejoice at the new system... we'll test it and we'll post our thoughts once we are done.
So our old Pro licenses do still have some value in case we want to keep staying on that licensing agreement. Well... truth to be told, we moved to the new subscription model already, but still having mixed feeling about it. Some project we run on UE4 now, and we are also evaluating CryEngine as that price model impressed us quite a lot. Sure, Unity is King for platform support range and workflow, but other engines are closing the gap rather quickly, so we keep our options open.
Anyway, all in all, we are happy to see how much has been delivered with this version, even it it marks the end of a life cycle: it seems to be a good way to end it and a great starting point for the new 2017 product line.