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Unity is laying its JavaScript-like language UnityScript to rest

Unity is sunsetting its C# alternative UnityScript. Here’s what developers need to know before it pulls the plug.

Alissa McAloon

August 11, 2017

2 Min Read

Unity has begun the process of sunsetting its C# alternative UnityScript, partially in an effort to free up resources for a number of other projects within the company.

For now, this means that Unity is no longer accepting Asset Store submissions that contain UnityScript code. Next, the company will begin the process of contacting existing Asset Store developers about converting instances of UnityScript in their projects over to C#. 

Already the 'create assets 'menu in the current build of the Unity 2017.2 beta has had its Javascript option removed in an effort to discourage new users from creating new UnityScript files. 

Meanwhile, Unity is working on developing its own UnityScript to C# conversion tool to help developers through the transition. There’s no official date on that tool quite yet, but the company says it hopes to have it out by the time 2017.2 officially ships later this year. 

“Deprecating and removing features can feel like the opposite of progress sometimes, but it’s an important part of streamlining Unity,” reads a blog post detailing the decision. “Like a forest fire clearing the way for new growth, it helps clear the way for us to deliver the fixes and features you want as quickly as possible.”

Unity hasn't put an official expiration date on UnityScript support for the time being. Instead, the company says it will monitor its analytical tools and keep an eye on how many developers are still using the tool following the above changes. Once those numbers get low enough, Unity will no longer ship with the UnityScript compiler or recognize .js files. 

Currently, the engine maker notes that 14.6 percent of projects in Unity 5.6 house at least one file with UnityScript’s .js extension, meaning that 85.4 percent of those projects contain exclusively C#. All in all, 3.6 percent of all projects owe at least 20 percent of their code to UnityScript, while .8 percent use the language exclusively.

More details on the steps being taken, as well as the company’s reasoning for the decision and a heartfelt apology to that .8 percent, can be found over on the Unity Blog

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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