After recently announcing a 90% drop in PC sales and blaming it all on evil piwates, it seems Ubisoft have finally seen some sense and relaxed the DRM on another of their titles, as they did with last year's Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. Up for the freedom treatment this time is in-depth submarine simulator Silent Hunter 5,
This has already occurred once before for SH5, with the initial 'always online' requirement of Ubi's hugely unpopular DRM being reduced to requiring an internet connection each time you start the game, with no further connection required during play. If the Ubisoft servers went down, however, players were unable to start the game.
Eagle eyed forumites* at sub enthusiast website subsim.com yersterday noticed the 'Ubi Launcher' software for Silent Hunter 5 now has the 'offline mode' option in the launcher settings. Once activated (along with disabling the online saves option), an internet connection is no longer required to start the game.
Fellow Ubisoft product Settlers 7, which also uses the Ubi Launcher, has no offline mode at the time of writing, so it's not clear if this will propagate through other Ubi games that use the DRM. Still, it's nice to see Silent Hunter finally freed of it's online shackles, and while you'll still need to be online the first time you install the game, I think most of us would agree this is far less frustrating than finding you can't play your game when the server decides to take a nap (an ever increasing occurrence of late, at least for SH5).
Let's hope this is another step towards a DRM solution from Ubi that doesn't outrage the entire PC gaming population. Help us Ubi-wan, you're our only hope.
*thanks to lanziqi for the tip.