RIP Bernie Stolar, Former Sega, Atari & PlayStation Executive

Bernie Stolar

Image of Stolar in the Dreamcast premiere
image: Related press (AP)

Bernie Stolar, one of the most important video game executives of the 1990s, has died at the age of 75, Game report.

Stolar started working in the video game business in 1980, first starting a cryptocurrency trading company before moving to Atari where he did everything from working on arcade games to their later efforts for home consoles to spearhead development on the Lynx, Atari’s infamous Giant Handheld.

He later moved to Sony, where he helped found the American division of the company’s PlayStation brand, serving as the company’s first executive vice president. While at Sony, his biggest accomplishment was aligning several studios and assets for PlayStation’s original library of games — forming relationships that will in many cases persist into 2022 — including Ridge Racer, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro.

After the PlayStation launched, Stolar moved on to rival Sega, where he was no mess. Like Game remember:

“When I got to Sega, I immediately said, ‘We have to kill Saturn. We must stop Saturn and start building new technology. ‘ That’s what I did. I brought a group of new people in and cleaned the house. There were 300 odd employees and I downgraded the company to 90 employees to start rebuilding,” Stolar said.

While Sega Stolar did another visionary long-term deal, buying a studio called Visual Con Concept, who would become 2K Sports and continue publishing. NBA 2K CZK series to this day.

Stolar’s career after the 90s was marked by spells at Mattel (where he pushed the company to double production Barbie doll video games) and Google, where he served as the company’s first “Game Evangelist”, a position he tried to use to defend the idea of ​​an online game service, which the company did at the time and then…will visit again a decade later, long after Stolar has left, before completely screwing it up.

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