Vimeo Situation Update

I’m pretty much floored by the response I got from the previous Vimeo post. I would like to thank everybody, who commented and helped spread the word. Of course I didn’t realize that the timing is just perfect with the IGF deadline so close. If you are submitting your game to the IGF, I think you should definitely stay away from Vimeo. At least until they explicitly state that indie game trailers are ok.

To give you a short update: I have received a response from Vimeo. I got a full refund as requested, even before the post went trough Twitter. I also asked them to remove my account. I did get in contact with another Staff member. He didn’t say too much new except that he insisted that my previous contact was correct. Apparently, being a game indie isn’t what is covered by “creative arts, small scale production companies, non-profits, and artists” as mentioned in their Community Guidelines. Either that or showing game footage is allowed STRICTLY for showing progress DURING development, not for release Trailers/Announcements. I’m not sure about what exactly the problem is. They tend to switch around their arguments as they go.

It’s also worth mentioning that at some point they had offered me a “Community Pass” for my PRO account when I argued that my game is playable for free. I’m not sure what problem with the Community Guidelines it solved. Perhaps working on a free game counts as “non-profit”? I don’t know if that meant I didn’t need the PRO account in the first place or if it was an exception they made BECASUSE I was a PRO user. At this point, I just wanted get out. I didn’t want to have my video host impose restrictions on my business model.

I asked them to some questions to clear up the confusion. They haven’t answered yet. I received a lot of feedback from other indies and games people, who reported having very similar experiences. So at least for now Vimeo just doesn’t seem like a reliable place to post any kind of game material. Whatever you do with games, you will eventually run into trouble. And you will at the most unfortunate moment.

So what alternatives do we have? Here is a small list of places to check out. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments. I will make sure to keep the list updated.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

4 responses to “Vimeo Situation Update”

  1. Michael Herzog (@SenorKaffee)

    At YouTube you have to put up with the community and sometimes with ridiculous copyright claims, from a technical standpoint it is an excellent choice – especially if you are a member in good standing and are allowed to upload long videos. The one drawback is, that they don’t support FTP uploads. Their Java uploader is alright, but tends to time out after 12 hours or so – better have good upstream if you are going for the extra quality. is also nice, especially because they can handle publishing to iTunes. They don’t have such tight copyright infringement monitoring and offer FTP, but there are some other drawbacks. Maximum upload file size is 1GB (as in bytes) and the flash players are a little clunky, at least compared to the YT embeddable players.

    If you want absolute control and have not much video to post, you can always choose to do your own hosting. The JWPlayer by LongTail Video can do both Flash and HTML5 and even a commercial license is not too expensive.

  2. Clayton Hughes

    I don’t have any experience with them, but a friend of mine works for BrightCove. They mostly do WebTV type things, but they have a pretty decent web-player. Might be worth looking into (I don’t know what their stance on game stuff is, but most of their clients are corporate–so I feel like you’d be okay).

  3. Jerom

    Check the “french Youtube”: Dailymotion. Low Quality to 1080p, for any free account ;)

  4. NeatWolf

    Thank you so much for this article, as a fellow indie game developer I was struggling to get a decent video quality on YouTube, and then was considering Vimeo.
    But after that sad episode you mentioned I think I’ll just consider the alternatives ;)


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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