Vtuber’s Face Reveal Concert Is Unraveling On The Internet

Dacapo is shown lipsyncing into the camera.

Image: Algorhythm Project

Sometimes, opening up TikTok is like walking into a crime scene and having to piece together what happened. That’s what several users are experiencing right now as they try to sort through how a VTuber concert spawned dozens to hundreds of responses and a new meme format on the platform. If you have been seeing videos of people bopping to the left and right with their eyes covered, then showing their face to roaring applause and are just as confused as I was, here’s a quick explainer of what the hell is going on.

The VTuber performance took place on July 1 at the Cosplay Arts Festival in Thailand. In a video streamed to attendees, the digital performer known as Dacapo was synced up to Shinunoga’s pop song “E-Wa,” and at the beginning of the video, the character’s hair obscures his eyes. As he moves side to side throughout the song, his eyes are gradually revealed, which led to a spike in cheers from the audience in clips of the show.

Because the internet loves to bully others online, the entire display and the crowd reaction have brought upon a new joke format on TikTok, primarily targeted at the stiff animation and the face reveal that prompted such a loud reaction from attendees. On top of this, there’s been specific ridicule aimed at people for paying to go to the event, with many claiming the show cost $300 USD to attend. However, that was not the case. The concert itself was free to attendees of the Cosplay Arts Festival, which cost 300 Baht to enter and equates to roughly $9 USD.

Honestly, I have no horse in this race beyond noting how quickly the internet loves to latch onto misinformation about things they don’t like. “E-Wa” is a pretty catchy song, though.

Max Payne 3 Mod Finally Restores His Original Face

Sam Lake as Max Payne, in Max Payne 3, stares at himself in the mirror, courtesy of modder AlexSavvy.

Image: AlexSavvy

If you were feeling nostalgic for old-school Max Payne, the perpetually grimacing star of Remedy’s iconic third-person shooter of the same name, take heart. There’s now a mod for Max Payne 3 that brings back the character’s unforgettable OG face—based on Remedy Creative Director Sam Lake—squint and all.

For the uninitiated, Max Payne is a 2001 third-person shooter developed by Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind Alan Wake, Control, and Quantum Break. The game featured the likeness of Sam Lake, a Remedy staff member who became known for lending his very structured face to the game’s protagonist. But Lake’s time as Payne’s face soon ended, as both Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne and Rockstar Studios’ Max Payne 3 changed course, with the former NYPD detective being modeled after actors Timothy Gibbs and then James McCaffrey in those sequels. However, modder AlexSavvy has now released a Sam Lake mod on Nexus Mods that puts Lake’s memorable mug back into Max Payne 3.


The mod “brings back the original look of Max Payne from the first game” so you can basically play as Sam Lake’s Max Payne in Max Payne 3. That game was pretty graphically sophisticated in its time, so making this mod required AlexSavvy to alter the fitting of every single costume to match Sam Lake’s body, and also model all the different hairstyles Payne sports throughout the game’s narrative.

The modder sought to fully preserve all existing facial expressions and wounds, and also brought back Payne’s Hawaiian shirt and leather jacket combo from the first game. In total, the mod replaces some 98 in-game models and 66 textures to reconstruct Sam Lake’s likeness. As ever, even a seemingly simple mod can require a ton of work.

If early feedback is anything to go by, AlexSavvy nailed it. Certain Max Payne fans have always had a bone to pick with the character’s changed appearance in Max Payne 3, and while it may have taken over a decade, now they can finally enjoy the game as the Max Payne they know and love, who happens to look a lot like Sam Lake.

Lake, incidentally, will also be appearing in Remedy’s upcoming Alan Wake 2, in which he’ll provide his likeness for the FBI agent Alex Casey.

Get Over His New Face

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is out soon and looking very good, with a ton of hype surrounding the PS5 exclusive open-world superhero game. But now, even years after Sony made clear it would be giving Spidey a new look, fans keep grumbling about the loss of Peter Parker’s old face, last seen in the original PlayStation 4 version of the first Spider-Man game. And Peter Parker actor Yuri Lowenthal has a message to those fans: Get over it.

When Marvel’s Spider-Man, originally released on PS4 in 2018, made its leap to the next-gen PS5 in 2020, it came with a bunch of changes and graphical improvements. One of the changes that got the most headlines didn’t involve ray-traced reflections or 4K textures. Instead, a lot of people got very upset that developer Insomniac Games decided to change the face of Peter Parker, making the character look younger and more like Tom Holland in the process. Since then fans have been talking about it a lot. And Lowenthal is “tired of talking about it after all this time” and just wants fans to move on.

In an interview with ComicBook.com published Thursday, Lowenthal said that he got over the change as soon as Insomniac explained to him it would help improve Parker’s facial animation, telling the studio “I’m all in” after learning about why the change was being made.

PlayStation / Insomniac Games

“The performance was the same for me,” said Lowenthal. “I don’t care if he looks like a goblin, if my performance is better, then I’m in. I’m kind of tired of talking about it, to be honest, because I think everything that needs to be said has been said.”

The Spider-Man actor acknowledged that it will take longer for some fans and players to get comfortable with the face swap. And he also admitted that he understands some people will likely “never” reach that point. However, he does see one positive to all the backlash and continued demands for the original face to return.

“People connected emotionally so hard and so deeply in the first game that they’re mad when they feel that person changes,” said Lowenthal. “I can only be so mad about that because it worked—not the [face change]—but you connected with the character which is great.”

But the actor did have a final message for those still struggling with the new face of Peter Parker: “Now, get over it!”

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 launches on PS5 on October 20.

Pre-order Marvel’s Spider-Man 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop


Cyberpunk 2077 Developers Form New Union In Face Of Layoffs

As the international gaming industry faces wave after wave of layoffs, workers at Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher developer, CD Projekt Red, have created a new Poland-wide union aimed at protecting their rights. This arrives in the face of the massive studio announcing it would be firing nine percent of its staff by March 2024.

Związek Pracowników Branży Gier (Polish Gamedev Workers Union) has been created by CDPR employees Lev Ki and Paweł Myszka, reports Eurogamer, following a third round of job losses in three months at the studio.

Buy Cyberpunk 2077: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

The new union’s site explains that it’s not specific to CDPR, but rather aims to represent “all professions and people working in the game development sector in Poland.”

CD Projekt Red has obviously been through a tumultuous few years, with the protracted development and disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 upending its schedules, pulling hundreds of developers off potentially The Witcher 4 and any other projects they may have been working on, and then only made worse by a further year of all-hands-on-deck trying to get CP77 into a functioning state and its DLC out of the door.

That done, the studio will be entering relatively quieter times, and as is the grim state of the games development industry, mean it does not need to employ as many staff until it gets closer to launching whatever might come next. Announcing it would be letting go nine percent of its workforce, some 100 people, was enough to push those remaining into organizing.

“This event created a tremendous amount of stress and insecurity, affecting our mental health and leading to the creation of this union in response,” explains the site. It continues, “Having a union means having more security, transparency, better protection, and a stronger voice in times of crisis.”

This union can only represent workers in Poland, with Polish contracts, and as such doesn’t cover those in CDPR’s Vancouver studio. However, they can of course begin their own efforts to unionize. As the union site explains,

The above shows how employers tend to view their interests to be in conflict with those of their employees. While employees are the ones creating value in this arrangement, they lack any decision power in company-structure-related matters. That is why we need to organize to enter those situations on equal footing.

Update: CDPR gave us this statement in response to the formation of the union:

We have been informed about the intention to form a trade union covering gamedev companies, including our company. We will act in accordance with law and comply with legal obligations that might arise from that situation.

At the same it’s worth mentioning that the voice of RED’s team is already represented by the RED Team Representatives (RTR), which is a democratically elected body representing all employees and independent of the management board. We have been working with them for over 2 years now and we will continue to do so to keep our work environment transparent, safe and healthy.

Updated: 10/10/23, 03.51 a.m. ET: This post was updated to include CDPR’s statement in response to the story.

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