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Bernie Stolar

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Fast facts on Bernie Stolar
Company(ies): Sega of America
Role(s): Executive

Bernard "Bernie" Stolar was a former president of Sega of America.

His career started at Atari where he worked initially in the coin-op arcade division and eventually moved over to the home division being in charge of platforms like Atari Lynx. Before the US release of the PlayStation game console, Sony made Stolar the first president of SCEA and in charge of the PlayStation platform. Stolar ruled with an iron fist and forced some unpopular policies with regard to titles licensed including a "no-RPG" policy seeing as RPGs at the time were almost all 2D, didn't sell well in North America and in his opinion failed to show the power of the PlayStation in a positive light.

After the first holiday season in the US the PlayStation was a success selling well. Bernie was then offered the opportunity to leave Sony and take the helm at Sega of America managing the Sega Saturn. Stolar subsequently became Sega of America COO in March 1997[1] and president in March 1998[2].

Stolar is fondly remembered for his "Saturn is not our future" remark at E3 1997, not to mention his "There is no more Tekken." line during a TV interview (which followed after Namco confirmed supporting Sega's console starting with Soul Calibur). The Tekken line was also Stolar's stab against Sony and its next generation plans, although Namco confirmed later that the PlayStation 2 will be getting Tekken games exclusively.

Aside from that, there were insider reports that he actually went against his Japanese superiors by pricing the Dreamcast with a launch price of $199 (which he unveiled in a speech in early 1999, to standing ovation). Reportedly, Sega Japan wanted to price the DC at $249 in order to be very profitable right from the start. Prior to the Dreamcast's American launch in 1999, Stolar was fired and received a $5,000,000.00 severance package from Sega.

Production history


References


Presidents of Sega of America
David Rosen (19xx-198x) | Gene Lipkin (198x-198x) | Bruce Lowry (1986-1989) | Michael Katz (1989-1990) | Tom Kalinske (1990-1996) | Bernie Stolar (1998-1999) | Peter Moore (1999-2003) | Hideaki Irie (2003-2005) | Simon Jeffery (2005-2009) | Mike Hayes (2009-2012) | John Cheng (2012-)