Bernie Stolar, Sega and PlayStation executive, dies at 75


The previous president of Sega of The us who oversaw the 1999 release of the Dreamcast has died. Bernie Stolar, 75, used to be additionally a founding govt of Sony Laptop Leisure The us, which introduced the PlayStation and a number of other first-party video games for it in 1995.

Stolar’s paintings for SCEA (these days Sony Interactive Leisure) helped identify many franchises that proceed these days, together with Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Ridge Racer. For Sega, Stolar bought Visible Ideas and ushered within the 2K Sports activities label (each have been later bought to Take-Two Interactive) with the NFL 2K and NBA 2K sequence.

Each have been cornerstone launches for the Dreamcast in 1999, the place Stolar is credited with orienting the corporate’s focal point towards the brand new console and clear of the flagging Sega Saturn, which had swiftly misplaced marketplace percentage within the U.S. to the brand new PlayStation. Dreamcast, regardless of a cast efficiency within the U.S. and a fanbase that also reveres it, used to be temporarily discontinued in 2001 after dropping to the PlayStation 2 in each different global marketplace.

Stolar joined Sega of The us (SOA) in 1997 and later took over from Tom Kalinske, the SOA president who oversaw the upward push of the Sega Genesis and the corporate’s head-to-head successes in opposition to Nintendo within the early Nineties. Stolar were employed as a {hardware} guide by way of Sega’s Hayao Nakayama, with whom Kalinske had steadily clashed earlier than resigning. But if Nakayama used to be ousted by way of Sega’s board, Stolar used to be now not a ways at the back of him.

“I took the Sega place in response to conversations with Hayao Nakayama, who used to be then chairman of the corporate,” Stolar stated, in line with a tribute revealed Saturday by way of VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi. “We’d institute and herald a brand new {hardware} device that will do on-line multiplayer video games. That turned into Dreamcast. I headed that up. Sadly Nakayama were given driven out of the corporate by way of [Isao] Okawa on the finish of 1999, and when he were given driven out, I were given into a controversy with Japan as neatly.”

Stolar persevered to paintings in plenty of leisure instrument ventures for the following 17 years, together with at Google, which had purchased an organization the place he used to be an adviser and board member. To Takahashi, Stolar recalled seeking to get Google into the video games trade by way of “taking video games from publishers and streaming the ones via our on-line community.”

Google leader govt Eric Schmidt wouldn’t do it, Stolar stated. “That’s after I knew I must depart the corporate.” Fourteen years later, Google introduced Stadia, a cloud gaming provider by which primary publishers’ video games are streamed to customers over Google’s Chrome internet browser.