Bernie Stolar, the Video Game Exec Who Helped Launch the PS, Dreamcast, Has Passed Away

(Photo : LinkedIn / Screenshot taken from the official LinkedIn website)

Kotaku, citing GamesBeat, has reported that one of the most significant top executives in the 1990s for video games, Bernie Stolar, has died at the age of 75. He took part in the PlayStation (PS) and Dreamcast launches.

Stolar Earlier Career

According to the news story of Video Games Chronicle, Stolar’s career in gaming stretched from the early 1980s to 1999, covering one of the most important periods in the history of the industry when he worked as a senior executive for nearly all the major players.

Kotaku and Video Games Chronicle mentioned that Stolar started his career in the video game industry in 1980, creating a coin-op company initially before joining Atari, where he worked on everything from arcade games to subsequent home console projects to, of all things, overseeing development on the Lynx, Atari’s infamously large handheld device.

He would be in charge of the Atari Lynx before being chosen by Sony to be one of the founding members and the company’s first president in America.

Then he moved to Sony, where he served as the company’s first executive vice president and contributed to the development of the PlayStation brand’s American division. However, controversially, he reportedly enforced a “no RPG” policy during his time at SCEA due to the genre primarily being in 2D at the time and not showing off the power of the PlayStation. 

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His biggest accomplishment while at Sony was lining up a number of studios and properties for the PlayStation’s early library of games-forming relationships that in many cases will endure in 2022.

After the PlayStation’s first year of glory, Stolar moved to Sega of America, where he handled the release of the Sega Saturn. In March 1997, Stolar was appointed COO of Sega of America, and the following year, he was named president.

Video Games Chronicle also noted that during a speech in 1999, Stolar received a standing ovation when he declared that the Sega Dreamcast would cost $199 USD. Later it was discovered that this enraged Sega of Japan, who insisted that the console be priced at $249 USD in order to maximize earnings.

Furthermore, while working for Sega, Stolar made another brilliant long-term commitment by purchasing Visual Concepts, a company that would later become 2K Sports and is still producing the NBA 2K series today.

Controversy Surrounding Stolar’s Legacy

Netizens shared mixed reactions regarding the death of Stolar. Some showed indifference with the incident, saying that dying is a natural cycle of life. On the other hand, others pointed out the controversy surrounding his early career in the farming industry.

“Stolar is controversial,” a netizen with a “Codetermined” username said on GameFAQs, adding that  the former game executive had contributed to the Saturn’s poor reputation abroad, but Sega Japan is equally to blame for the device’s failure on a global scale.

“His decisions will be debated until the end of time, but one thing is for sure that he left a legacy,” Codetermined adds.

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This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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