Bernie Stolar

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

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

His career in the game industry started in 1980, when he and his friend Brian Semler[1] (Brian Douglas Semler), son of Bert Siegel[2][3] (Bertram Leroy Siegel[4] Co-Founder of Segasa) and brother[5][6] of Lawrence David Siegel[7] (former President of Atari and Black Pearl Software and COO of THQ) established[8] Pacific Novelty Manufacturing, Inc.[9][10], in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, a coin-op game company. He later went to 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[11] and president in March 1998[12].

Stolar is famously 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

External references


  1. Cash Box, "November 15, 1980" (US; 1980-11-15), page 38
  2. Cash Box, "August 16, 1975" (US; 1975-08-16), page 45
  4. File:Bert Siegel Letter to Charles Paul of Atari 1982-03-11.pdf, page 1
  5. Cash Box, "October 19, 1974" (US; 1974-10-19), page 91
  6. Cash Box, "January 24, 1981" (US; 1981-01-24), page 48
  7. Cash Box, "August 30, 1980" (US; 1980-08-30), page 50
  10. Cash Box, "July 3, 1982" (US; 1982-07-03), page 108
  11. Press release: 1997-03-17: Sega Promotes Bernie Stolar To COO
  12. Press release: 1998-03-24: Sega Promotes Stolar To President
  13. 13.0 13.1 File:Wsb98 sat us manual.pdf, page 31
  14. File:Skytarget sat us manual.pdf, page 26
  15. File:Manxtt sat us manual.pdf, page 22
  16. File:Lastbronx sat us manual.pdf, page 26
  17. Die Hard Arcade (Saturn) US manual, page 18
  18. File:Saturnbomberman sat us manual.pdf, page 42
  19. File:Nfl97 sat us manual.pdf, page 19
  20. File:Daytonausacce sat us manual.pdf, page 26
  21. File:Enemyzero sat us manual.pdf, page 19
  22. File:Fightersmegamix sat us manual.pdf, page 42
  23. File:Thotd sat us manual.pdf, page 26
  24. File:Amok sat us manual.pdf, page 23
  25. File:Scorcher sat us manual.pdf, page 27
  26. File:Lostworld sat us manual.pdf, page 22
  27. File:Nbaaction98 sat us manual.pdf, page 28
  28. File:Nhlallstar98 sat us manual.pdf, page 19
  29. File:Steepslopesliders sat us manual.pdf, page 21
  30. File:Sws98 sat us manual.pdf, page 37

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-)