February - last edited February
I've since found out that the Origin versions of Shift 2 Unleashed or Shift 2 Unleashed Limited Editions are not the same. It appears that the EA Store digital download version and the EA DVD-ROM version are the same, so it's only the Origin version that is different, and it has a different crash issue, one that can prevent the game from being played at all.
With the Origin version of Shift 2, and when starting a new career, (either a player that just bought the game, or by backing up and then deleting ...\profiles\default.sav), the main menu only shows "career" and "options". I can choose options to adjust video and controller settings. When I choose career, the game crashes on the very first event, a 2 lap practice run used to choose difficulty and assists settings, even with the internet disconnected. This means there's no way to play the Origin version of the game on the system I tested it on. On that same system, the EA Store and the EA DVD-ROM versions are able to complete the 2 lap practice, the practice race, all of the D class events, all of the hotlap invitational events, which is where I stopped testing, and with the internet connected. For the EA version of Shift 2, only a few of the career mode events crash with the internet connected.