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Mawthra: And according to your definition of DRM-free, Subnautica, which is now free until Christmas on the Epic Games Store has no DRM in the game itself... can launch the game without needing to have the Epic Games Launcher open nor does it try to launch the Epic Games Launcher if you start the game from the game's main EXE
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bl4ck777: I've downloaded Subnautica today (couldn't before as I'm on a metered mobile connection for some time unfortunately) and it won't start without Epic client running in background connected online. Only way to play it offline is launching the game from the play button inside the client library but from desktop shortcut or game exe is a no go.

If your version works as you described it seems it has been patched with DRM.. which sucks.
Create a shortcut to the executable in the game directory, and then put "-EpicPortal" at the end. Now it will work without the Epic launcher, you can even uninstall the epic launcher if you like and it will still work.
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bl4ck777: I've downloaded Subnautica today (couldn't before as I'm on a metered mobile connection for some time unfortunately) and it won't start without Epic client running in background connected online. Only way to play it offline is launching the game from the play button inside the client library but from desktop shortcut or game exe is a no go.

If your version works as you described it seems it has been patched with DRM.. which sucks.
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eisberg77: Create a shortcut to the executable in the game directory, and then put "-EpicPortal" at the end. Now it will work without the Epic launcher, you can even uninstall the epic launcher if you like and it will still work.
Sick! I need to try that... thanks for the tip

And yah, after the first game update, it started looking for the launcher during launch
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eisberg77: Create a shortcut to the executable in the game directory, and then put "-EpicPortal" at the end. Now it will work without the Epic launcher, you can even uninstall the epic launcher if you like and it will still work.
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Mawthra: Sick! I need to try that... thanks for the tip

And yah, after the first game update, it started looking for the launcher during launch
@eisberg77 Your suggestion works fine thanks! Only thing I didn't try yet is to run it with the launcher removed or on a pc without it. Anyway there's no need I guess as it's obvious it skips the launcher completely with that string added.

@Mawthra Do you still have a pre-update copy? I wonder if it's just the patched game exe file and replacing it with the old version would bring it back to run without launcher or workarounds.

EDIT: corrections
Post edited January 15, 2019 by bl4ck777
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bl4ck777: @Mawthra Do you still have a pre-update copy? I wonder if it's just the patched game exe file and replacing it with the old version would bring it back to run without launcher or workarounds.
I do not... but I'm pretty sure the only thing that got updated was the attempt to tie it to the laucher, because I've had the game on Steam for a while now and it didn't get an update on that day, only the Epic Games Store version did

I disabled auto-updates in the Epic app and now keep versioned backups of the games just in case they drop the hammer on them at some point... if I see there's an update, I archive the game folder and add the version number to the file name
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Mawthra: I do not... but I'm pretty sure the only thing that got updated was the attempt to tie it to the laucher, because I've had the game on Steam for a while now and it didn't get an update on that day, only the Epic Games Store version did
Exactly what I was thinking, that's why I believe just replacing the new executable with the old one could reverse that. But well, looks like we'll have to settle with the workaround kindly provided by eisberg77 :)

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Mawthra: I disabled auto-updates in the Epic app and now keep versioned backups of the games just in case they drop the hammer on them at some point... if I see there's an update, I archive the game folder and add the version number to the file name
That's a very good practice that I do myself, however I suspect there will be much less "accidentally-drm-free" releases on epic store as soon as developers figure out better ways to lock up their games.