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New upload rules

Blake Whitman
July 21, 2008 by Blake Whitman Alum

UPDATE: In October 2014, we started allowing video game content on Vimeo again. Our platform has grown and changed a lot since 2008. Though we continue to focus on building the best platform for creative people to share work with their peers, we now host many other types of content, too, from business videos to on-demand, feature-length films. We chose to lift this ban because video game content is no longer an outlier in our community nor a drag on our resources the way it once was. Thanks to everyone who has supported us (and passionately debated with us) over the years! <3

The Vimeo staff has decided that we are no longer going to allow gaming videos on Vimeo. Specifically, we are no longer going to allow game walk-throughs, game strategy videos, depictions of player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game. Videos falling into this category will be subject to deletion as of September 1st; new videos of this type will be removed.

There are many reasons for the decision, two of which we would like to elaborate on.

1) Vimeo was created with the intent of inspiring creativity and providing a place to share video with friends and family. The Vimeo staff does not feel that videos which are direct captures of video game play truly constitute “creative expression” [Note: Some users in the comments have effectively defended their work as creative. We apologize to those offended. Our decision remains for the other reasons]. Further, such videos may expose Vimeo to liability from the game creator(s), as we have already seen action from popular video game companies against videos such as these.

2) Gaming videos are by nature significantly larger and longer than any other genre on Vimeo. Over these last few months they have been the single biggest reasons for our transcoder wait times.

This decision was not easy, and there was much debate internally; however, we feel this decision will benefit Vimeo in the long run and better benefit the video makers it was created for. Our resources are limited and they must be channeled towards maintaining our goals.

Two questions you might have:

1) Are my gaming videos going to be deleted?

Starting today, all new gaming videos are subject to deletion. Videos uploaded before today will be hosted until September 1.

2) I make Machinima films! It’s not the same thing! Am I banned?


p>We currently do not feel that Machinima films fall under the category of gaming videos described above and, therefore, assuming compliance with our site�s general terms & conditions, we will continue to accept such videos on Vimeo. We are not, at this time, banning films that fall into the Machinima genre.



Thank you Jebus!

Snappetizing Photography Co.

Now I'm just waiting for these people that think Vimeo is like youtube to make a video with them under a blanket crying and screaming "LEAVE OUR GAME SCREENCASTS ALONE!! LEAVE THEM ALONE!"

Just, you, wait...

Best decision ever Vimeo!


Taunting is unbecoming of you.

It's been established many times that this decision has nothing to do with the quality videos either removed or kept, and is entirely in line with Vimeo seeking to preserve the kind of videos that they feel preserve their mission, over those that they feel do not.

It's not really about keeping "Youtube" videos off Vimeo, and many such videos are still here and will not be removed.

dalas verdugo Staff

Vimeo's growth right now is rapid. Not stunted at all. We are scaling, we are improving infrastructure, but we are not willing to provide those resources to this material.


And thus the staff sayeth: Vimeo Shall forever remain the sanctum of the artsy elitist.

Film is not the only medium. I have seen some of the BEST editing on video game captures. If you delete video game captures then you should also delete some of the other mundane banality on the site.

From the oppressed to the oppressor so quickly vimeo...

Felipe Spengler

There is a lot of CRAP videos in a LOT of categories here. The "Vimeo was created with the intent of inspiring creativity[...]" is nothing else than bullshit.

If Vimeo staff dont like video game videos, or dont have infrastructure for that, just have balls to say that.

You guys can do what you want with Vimeo, its free, but even the decision being bad, the fake excuses are really worst.

Video by Wes Plus

It can be described as a couple of kids in a pool.
It can also be described as a portrait of two kids in a pool.
The video is obviously processed. There were creative decisions made, there were things left in and things left out.
It's sentimental. You think it's bogus. That's your opinion.
But with any artistic endeavor, it's the creative vector of the piece that's important.

Victor Niglio

Now, while this does mean I will need to remove a few of my videos. I have a question about one in particular. Should something like this be allowed? Because it isn't a "player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game".

Tell me what you think.

Blake Whitman Staff

What would you consider this to be if it is not depicting someone playing a game?

Snappetizing Photography Co.

If you want to show your editing skills do it with a camera. I'm very sure you can run around and blend different shots that way.

Ralph Lindsen

bigv probably means that the vid is a montage of all the maps of the game. that's why bigv doesn't consider it a "gaming video that simply depicts individuals playing a video game".

the transitions between the levels are done in such a way you almost don't notice the transition (linking similar actions or views in different maps together), so if you scroll through it, it looks like a regular gaming video even though it's not.

but in the end it is a video depicting someone playing a game.

so it's about how vimeo defines 'simply'.

either way, i don't watch them. i prefer trailers of metal gear solid, those deserve a place on vimeo :D

XIM 360

The problem is that now vidoes are being discriminated against. When that happens and you are the ones being discriminated against, its best to just leave and find a place best suited for your types of videos (chock full of immature people too, the one thing I really liked about Vimeo is the professional crowd.) Vimeo is not youtube, and at this rate it never will be. (This is a good thing in a way)

Best of luck to Vimeo in the future. If you guys make a video game specific site, I fear it will be riddled with trolls :( I dunno.. I guess I'm going to be a pessimist from now on.. I finally had some REAL videos ready to upload that I literally just finished editing tonight. But they are vg related so BLah.) :P

Cody Smith

BigV's video was obviously storyboarded out, and he spent a lot of time screen capturing and editing the fades. that is about as artistic as a VG video is going to get.

Snappetizing Photography Co.

[XIM 360]

Yeah Professional crowd, exactly youtube is nothing but 7 year old shouting at each other with racial comments, online bullying, and ridiculous outbursts. This is definitely a good thing.


That is pretty obviously a false statement, and you know it. I don't know why you feel the need to make such obviously inflammatory generalisations in a comments area where Vimeo's staff explicitly asked all users to keep it civil and refrain from flamebaiting.


I feel this decision is right and will benefit Vimeo and Vimeo users. I love video games, absolutely love them but I never watch or search for videogame video's on vimeo. It's the wrong place for it. Theres other places for that.
I guess you can still use videogame references and be creative like this awesome Donkey Kong video


the general idea is that the video's are embedded elsewhere - like in forums where the community is - the community that does want to watch these videos.

If it's not vimeo it will be somewhere else - i make short films and EA skate. video's - i'm not going to let vimeo tell me that one is creative and the other is not -as i dont do anything if it's not creative. But if theyre going to delete or not host my creative skate. video's i'm going to take all my productions elsewhere.

hooray for exposure room :p

The Fibro Twins

Wow, tough decision, and hats off to the Vimeo staff for making it. Certainly this will upset some folks, but I like the direction that Vimeo is taking. I am here because of the creativity that abounds here, and I only want to see that grow. I have no interest in video games myself, but I do feel bad for users here who are into those types of videos. Regardless, you can't please everyone (or else we'll end up like YouTube...NOOOO!!!!).


Didn't you read the post? The gameplay videos are sucking the resources from the "real" videos.

You might be able to say Vimeo was just being mean if it wasn't actually affecting the other users. True, I can just continue to ignore your videos, but apparently those videos are causing the 1 minute video I shot to take hours to transcode.

Cameron Christopher PRO

Vimeo is alienating anyone who is interested in sharing computer game videos, just like people who are interested in sharing their favourite moments from TV shows..

I think the main point of this site is to express and share creativity, so if you use the CG environment to create scenes, a la Machinima, then I think that though it's different than most videos on Vimeo, this is the place to showcase that. If you're just playing the game, no matter how fancy your editing is, you were just playing the game.

I really support this decision, especially because Vimeo has become so popular and the amount of videos that need to be processed is increasing.

Cameron Christopher PRO

Sorry Dalas, I intend to remain civil... I get heated when I type rather than speak. I feel bad for everyone put out by this decision but I also support it. Sorry guys..


whoa wait. what about EA Skate videos? People upload their clips to the website, put them otgether and onto Vimeo.
It IS a video game but its used to make skateboarding videos. not soldiers blowing themselves up. the videos are made with creativity, not just bragging rights at how good they are.

bk Plus

It's not used to make skateboarding videos, it's made to make videogame videos of a skateboarding game.

There is a massive difference that a lot of people are failing to grasp.

Cameron Christopher PRO

Right. If it's some huge music video thing, it could possibly be considered, but if it's used to show off your ABILITY within that game, I don't think this is the place for that.


That a horrible idea. the company Wants us to make these videos. now youre just taking something off of your site for no reason at all. EA SKate forums are Filled to the brim with vimeo videos of EA Skate made by the players of yes, theyre own skating. You would be losing a Hell of a lot of use. the entire EA community will leave, no doubt.

Cameron Christopher PRO

it's not "no reason at all"

He posted the reasons above. These videos DO belong at EA Skate forums, and if they want you to make them, they should host them.

bk Plus

"theyre own skating"?

I've played a lot of skate, and I've messed around quite a bit with the replay editor. That doesn't make me a skateboarder, a skate video DP, or an editor. It makes me somebody playing a videogame.


they host the ability to upload them. they even held a contest for best 2 minute video. i havent seen many websites that ask you to make a video, when they dont want you to.

bk. it also makes you ignorant. to not realize the creativity in the videos created. shutting the ability of video game videos truly is a terrible decision, your upsetting, and officialy losing about 40% of users.


take a look at the people who have responded against the ban. ive already seen like 4 people from EA Skate here. and this was only just posted. expect more


bk, i'm kinda offended... i have a 14 minute skate video that i made with some friends... it took us MONTHS to get it done. recording all the footage - playing together online from all around the globe. i mixed the soundtrack. did quite a bit of extra effects. logos & titles... the whole shebang.

but you dismiss my work as not deserving to be hosted here because its based on video gameplay? you've got HD footage of two kids stuffing marshmallows in their mouths...


go bucks17

I agree with skatevid, emmet, and djadam.Vimeo will definetly lose 40% of users or even more.

dalas verdugo Staff

Obviously the amount of people commenting on the post about deleting video game videos is going to consist largely of video game video uploaders. You guys are way off.

djadam12, I won't say you did not put a lot of effort into your video game video, but I will say that Vimeo will not host it.

bk Plus

Emmett: You're right, I have no "respect for the game." I respect people who go out with cameras, and shoot real people doing ANYTHING a hell of a lot more than people capturing footage from their 360's and calling it their own.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play Guitar Hero on a streetcorner, and come home crying after people don't respect my talent.

The Revolutionist

actually people do do that, stop being ignorant because you just dont want anything related to video games on vimeo.

just because your a professional video editor doesnt give you the right to tell people what they can or cannot post here, especially if your not part of the staff.

bk Plus

Show me where I told people what they have the right to post. The staff is doing that just fine

I'm posting my personal opinion on people who call video captures from 'Skate' skate videos, and who can't see the difference between that and the real thing. You can have your opinion, I can have mine.


my bk... aren't we full of ourselves?

i'm 36. i used to skate, now i make video game videos in my spare time as a hobby (i enjoy playing the game and now i enjoy making videos). i completely respect vimeo's right to not host my video game based vids and perhaps someday i will use the service to host any "real life" projects i may produce.

i (at it seems like most of the rest of my community) only took offense at statements like "The Vimeo staff does not feel that videos which are direct captures of video game play truly constitute 'creative expression'." this comes across as extremely snobbish.

tell me you wont host my stuff, but i don't need you to say i'm not being creative.

i'm bummed i can't use the site, but whatever...

Andrew Pile Staff

"your own spell check doesn't even recognize vimeo as a word....losers"

Hahaha, ok.

Cameron Christopher PRO

I don't think deciding who is a real skater and who isn't has anything to do with it... that's just getting potentially offensive.

I don't doubt that the editing that goes into those videos is creative, but the rules here say that it's supposed to be content you create, and I think video games were riding that fine line, so it ends up splitting up between who's using a video of a videogame to show off playing the videogame, and who's using that videogame to create something new.

Maxwell Paparella

Dude, just use the download button to the lower right of the videos' page, save the files somewhere on your computer, and then repost them to another video hosting website. Remember: Nothing's gone forever, this is the internets!

Jerry Serna

Good Idea. For video games there are a lot of dedicated websites ex: and


"If your videos have more artistic and creative merits than the usual screencast, then you're fine."

I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but in the past I've heard of Vimeo being pretty quick with the Delete button as far as supposed violations go. Someone I know actually had his videos deleted and the staff later apologized because it actually wasn't a violation, but they were unable to put the videos back up.

Is there going to be any sort of warning to specific end-users (an e-mail saying "Your videos X, Y, etc. are marked for deletion") and some level of recourse if we feel this marking is incorrect?


dalas verdugo Staff

Depending on how long ago that deletion was, we now have a system in place to prevent that situation.

Andrew Pile Staff

What we consider games is what we wrote in this blog post. It should be pretty clear. If you're unsure, back them up!


Agreed! I think this is a great decision!


I can't agree more, never let vimeo become another youtube. Keep the quality of content up there.


This is a great idea.

I agree with what was said above. If someone wants to show off their editing skills then they can do the same things with a camcorder/camera and edit that.

If I want to see a video game being played I'll go over to my friends and watch him play or watch G4. If I want to see user made, TRUE indy video's and windows in to other users minds then I will come to Vimeo.

I love video games but when I'm here I am here to see video's that users took the time to actually make.

Those wanting to do video-game uploads should look in to
as I think they even offer a video-game section to chose when uploading and no size limits.

Vimeo is still better but that might be a good second source for those with video-game video's.


what a pity.
Vimeo will probably lose me as a regular user
but I can absolutely understand your move
good luck, I'll check back from time to time... :)

Julia Quinn Alum

well thanks for the understanding!! you are welcome back anytime!


...anytime you aren't posting or watching videos about games that is.


Same, i wonder how many people looking for and/or creating game related video's actually visit the site for the other content too.
Well, time to backup my movies and to find another site, id check your other content if i where though, much content there which cant be classified as art nor creativity.

Sethur Blackcoat

Could you please refer us to an alternative (high-quality; Youtube or the above mentioned Gamevee are simply horrid) video hosting site we could use in lieu of Vimeo? Along the lines of what Stage6 did when it shut down (did they maybe even link here? I can't recall), or at least suggest an acceptable alternative?


HedsIc - does actually have as good quality as Vimeo?


It's not as good, but it's better then anything else out there that I've found so far.

I think it would be perfect for video game video's and the such though.

Sethur Blackcoat

Well, vreel sure sounds go--- We're currently experiencing issues with cut videos - where a video will cut off before its real end time. If you notice any videos behaving like this, please click the 'flag video' button. We've disabled new uploads until this issue is repaired.

Oh. So much for that idea. I'll try it when I can actually TRY it, I suppose.


Vimeo was great till it lasted, now im gonna search for an other one.

Peter Gerard Alum

Way to go Vimeo! This decision makes perfect sense. Thanks for maintaining the quality on Vimeo.

bk Plus

As an extremely longtime user of Vimeo, I really appreciate this move. I like Vimeo because it's a place to share things that we create, not just rip off other creations that people like to watch. Thanks.


How is THIS creativity? i bet you had absolutly nothing to do with it either right?
Your advertising doesnt belong here. A videogame clip showing minimum creativity is still worth more than a clip of people talking about something no one cares about anyway.


Haha, he made that and is friends with the NLO guys. bk IS a professional, and as such his videos are professional quality.

bk Plus

Haha, good job, Penn. You really got me there.

Here's a difference: That podcast is one of the top ranked shows in the world, and I was commissioned to make that promo, and the DVD that it was promoting. I operated A camera, hired B camera, animated the logo, and cut that clip from the 40 minute comedy show that I put together. Figure out what you're talking about, before you convince yourself you have a point.

dalas verdugo Staff

Penn, the difference is that we are no longer going to host video game videos.


Stop making smart remarks to legitimate questions dalas. We want reasons and explanations, not smart remarks.

Solace Arts

no one cares about? do you see how many people here that are posting that dissagree with vimeo's descision? its not just a "clip" showing "minimum creativity" so many people outside the gaming community dont know anything..we know about yours more than you know about ours

dalas verdugo Staff

The reasons and explanations are in the blog post. The simple fact is that Vimeo will no longer host these videos.

Mark Ranallo

Can we vote to ban cat videos as well?


I'm all for banning cat videos usually, but I had a good time and love my one and only cat video!:

Now, banning Drunk Frat Boys Hitting Themselves In The Balls videos is a concept I can get behind. Though they seem to do great on the Youtubes!


This decision sucks. Vimeo was decent quality. My videos here have ~460k views, and people enjoyed them. Vimeo is the only decent site with HD flash streaming. Now we have to fallback to awful sites.

Thanks for the little time I had.

Vreel is likely not an option, as moving a ton of videos there and generating views would likely end up having the video removed due to BW usage.

Oh, and you people linking awful quality alternatives. I don't want something that reminds me of youtube.


I didn't realise Youtube was a gaming videos site.

It seems to me that stuff like "Me right now" or "Video of my room" makes Vimeo look like Youtube even more than gaming videos do.

But is this really a bad thing? Are you that desperate to feel "better" than youtube that you'll come up with any excuse to elevate yourselves and put others down?


Apparently all you need to not look like youtube is bake your chocolate to music, and it is amazing creative work. Grats on the 1k views of your baking, and not costing Vimeo money, so getting to stay.

Casey Fenton

As much as I enjoy watching gaming videos, I agree with the decision. I've always held Vimeo as a higher standard then pressing record, playing a game, and pressing stop. I'm all for people uploading Machinima but straight gameplay highlights, etc. Not what I think Vimeo should be about.

dalas verdugo Staff

I understand that you spent time and effort making that, but we're not going to host it here.

Mac Baler

Are you serious? That's ridiculous. These videos are actually EDITED and have been modified from their original, and they aren't just posted after recording, these things take work, unlike 9/10 things that people are posting in this blog. They definitely shouldn't be deleted.

Casey Fenton

Anything can be described as "art", look at Guillermo Vargas' piece about the starving dog. That's not the point. The bottom line is that it's Vimeo's site and they don't think it represents the type of creativity they wish to present.
Someone should start a "Gameo" HD video hosting site and I'm sure people will flock there. Toss up some Google Ads and live the sweet life.

dalas verdugo Staff

"Is it art?" is an endless philosophical debate that is great to have with your friends for hours of stimulating conversation.

A more appropriate question here is "Will Vimeo host it?" The answer is no.

dalas verdugo Staff

We've been thinking about it for many months. We're going forward with this decision.


Servion, your video is pointless, play the game, don't make videos about it.

Casey, the "Gameo" HD idea is quite a sweet one. Hey you guys at vimeo, can I have the code of the site, I will take care of the hosting and stuff :)

Matt Stanek

I think the reason for banning the game videos is to filter out all the game videos, so I don't think vimeo is worried about losing those users...

It's kind of the point...

Dr. Tae

Please tell me this isn't art, because it's rather silly:

Actually, it's me and my friend playing a video game, but I don't think it would be deleted (Dalas, maybe I'm wrong?).

And I'll reiterate the only point that matters. Vimeo has all the evidence here (whereas most users have none), and they think that booting a certain class of videos will help their business. Done deal.


"Servion, your video is pointless, play the game, don't make videos about it."

Watch the sky! Don't make videos about it!

See how you can turn that around?

Bluebie Fox

This started out interesting, but quickly degraded in to another video of someone playing a violent video game. I would have supported it if it had stayed creative throughout the video. It did not. If you snipped it back to just the interesting intro section, that is the kind of thing which should be allowed on vimeo with no question. But I am not vimeo staff, so I don't get to say this with any authority, just expressing my feelings on the topic.

Good luck in finding a new place to host your video's. If worst comes to worst, you could just use quicktime or a similar tool and purchase a hosting account such as MediaTemple's grid service with a lot of bandwidth included. H264 encoded quicktime video's are of higher quality than vimeo's, though Adobe has been making efforts to integrate H264 codec support in to Flash, so hopefully this will change in the future. :)


I can tell you one thing, you will lose 3/4 of your user database... basicly vimeo doesnt only not want to expand, but it wants to shrink biiiig time... well i respect your choice and in someway understand it, i do however think its a shame.. anyways, september 1st im out of here

Living Lens // Peter Szilveszter Plus

I totaly agree with this decision. If vimeo was just a general video site with anything and everything then wouldn't bother me but its not so gameplay video has no creative substance other then the creators of the games.

The Revolutionist

if vimeo was just another video upload site it would become youtube. this place is not youtube. therefore we upload our skate videos here.

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