Samuel Franklin, Lead Editor & Founder of Games Finder.
Throughout his career in the industry he has amassed 3+ million views on his YouTube channel, 10+ million article views on HubPages and 250k+ answer views on Quora. Samuel has also played League of Legends and Call of Duty: United Offensive competitively under the Stride and Coup de Grace clans with the gamertag “Seelyon”. During his time in the competitive Call of Duty: UO scene he also shoutcasted matches for GameStah Radio.
When did you originally discover your love of gaming?
Like many in the gaming industry I discovered my love for games early on in life and it’s stuck with me for nearly two decades now. For me this was through my uncle who was interested in technology and gaming in the late 90s and introduced me to Diablo and Dungeon Keeper (well before I was the appropriate age for either game) one afternoon from which point I was instantly hooked. Something about the ability to control the pixels on the screen and the strategic thinking required in these games made me want to learn and play more of what gaming had to offer.
As I continued to grow up I was constantly on my GameBoy playing the Pokemon franchise from Blue all the way to Crystal although always came back to PC gaming over console gaming with interest in all sorts of game genres.
You have an esports background, could you share with us how this got started?
Times have changed drastically in this space and during my stint in esports there was simply not the same level of attention or structures that exist now and it’s been fantastic to see the esports scenes around games like League of Legends, DOTA, Overwatch and CS:GO develop these things for upcoming esport gamers. Thankfully though there was still one avenue during my early esports days in Call of Duty which came through an active competitive ladder known as GameArena.
As I was a regular on the GameArena servers it wasn’t long before a clan of players reached out to me to join their team that competed and after a brief trial period I was added to their starting roster for the regular ladder matches that took place weekly. Similar to today it was all about being a consistent top performer on the game servers to get noticed by the competitive teams.
Could you share some highlights from when you used to be a semi-professional Call of Duty player?
I had three highlights during my time as a Call of Duty player with each being a highlight for different reasons. The first highlight that I particularly cherish is starting my own competitive clan under the name “Stride” which featured many of my close long time real life friends and while we only had moderate success the fun and memories from that time are some of my favorite of all my years playing Call of Duty and gaming in general.
Secondly, joining one of the top Call of Duty clans at the time (Coup de grace) after disbanding Stride where I played with eSports commentator Toby Dawson to win the grand final of the Season 4 GameArena Call of Duty ladder. Finally, was working alongside Toby Dawson as a guest esports analyst commentator for GameStah Radio who was providing shoutcasting for the Call of Duty competitive matches which is now a staple element of the esports genre.
More recently you were a competitive Fortnite player. What was your favorite part of this experience?
Stepping back into the esports scene for this brief stint was a fantastic experience and my favourite part was seeing how the structure of esports has grown from my time with Call of Duty. The number of competitions, in-game features and community as a whole was far beyond anything that was available during my earlier competitive experience and that was the main reason I wanted to explore the Fortnight competitive scene as it was rapidly growing.
You used to stream video games back in 2011 to 2013, would you do this again?
Despite having a great time with streaming and YouTube I don’t think I would do this again. I’ve always been someone who wants to play different games and is constantly trying something new which makes building a dedicated streaming or YouTube audience much harder and ultimately why I stopped in 2013. While I’d built a healthy League of Legends YouTube channel with over 3 million video views I was looking to move away from League of Legends and found it difficult to transition that community to another game.
What was the inspiration behind launching your website gameslikefinder.com?
Given I’m always looking for new video game adventures and my passion extends beyond a single genre I often found myself struggling to find similar games to those that I have previously enjoyed. When I founded Games Finder in 2013 there simply was no great recommendation system for video games so I opted to build it myself to help gamers find new gaming experiences.
Do you have a current favorite game and why does this game resonate with you?
My favorite game of all time has always been Dungeon Keeper 2 and a video game I even hold a few level speedrun records for on speedrun.com. Something about letting you play as the villain with the mixture of strategy and management has always appealed to me and I regularly return to it despite its age and the fact that I’ve played through it so many times there aren’t any surprises or challenges left. Currently though I’m mostly playing Escape From Tarkov as I find it’s mixture of loot, realism and difficulty an addicting pass time.
Do you have a favorite game genre?
These days I find that games with roguelike elements are my favorite as the threat of losing everything when you die always ensures a rush of adrenaline every time you play. Something about the gameplay loop of highs and lows as you slowly master the game mechanics is also extremely attractive to me. Lately this means playing Escape From Tarkov which is a first person shooter where a death means you lose all of your equipment while my other favorites in the genre include games like Faster Than Light and Slay the Spire.
You seem to be adventurous when it comes to trying new games and being competitive, will you be playing competitively again?
As much as I’d love to jump back into the competitive scene for a current or newly released game I don’t see this as something I’ll pursue in the future. Unfortunately, esports always has and will be a young person’s game so with every year that passes my reaction time slows and my ability to invest large amounts of time diminishes as real-life responsibilities and management of Games Finder takes over. I will however watch the esports scene continue to develop and be a long term fan to the many competitive scenes that are out there right now.
Thank you for the interview, readers who wish to find new games to fall in love with should visit Games Finder.