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PlayStation Legend, Dreamcast Co-Creator Bernie Stolar Has Died Aged 75

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PlayStation Legend, Dreamcast Co-Creator Bernie Stolar Has Died Aged 75

One of the talents behind the original PlayStation and Dreamcast, Bernie Stolar, has died. He was 75 years old.

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The sad news first broke over the weekend as friends of the games industry icon confirmed that Stolar had passed away, though the cause of his death is currently unknown.

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Stolar was president and chief operating officer at SEGA of America, where he oversaw the development of the Dreamcast. Before that, he was executive vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment. While here, he helped to launch a number of beloved PlayStation franchises, including Crash Bandicoot, Spyro Ridge Racer, and Oddworld.

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Speaking to GamesBeat back in 2015, Stolar revealed that he loved working at Sony, but couldn't turn down the chance to move to SEGA and help come up with brand-new hardware.

“I loved working for Sony,” he explained. “I really did. But when the opportunity came up to go to SEGA and help rebuild the business and come up with new hardware, I was very interested in doing it. When I got to SEGA, I immediately said ‘we have to kill Saturn. We have to stop Saturn and start building the new technology.’ That’s what I did.”

Stolar ultimately helped launch the Dreamcast in 1998, which would go on to sell more than nine million units in total. He then moved to oversee the acquisition of Visual Concepts, and founded 2K Sports, the company that continues to produce NBA 2K and several other huge sports games to this day.

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In 2015 Stolar moved to Adscape Media, a company which would later be purchased by Google. “There was no interest in games at Google at the time,” Stolar told GamesBeat. “I went to the Chief Executive Officer, who was Eric Schmidt, and said, ‘why don’t we put advertising in all these games and give them away for free online?’ He said ‘we’re not in the game business.’ I said ‘we’re not going into the game business. We’re not developing games. We’re taking games from publishers and streaming those through our online network.’ He wouldn’t do it. That’s when I knew I should leave the company. I started helping them evangelize, but I knew there was no future for me.”

Stolar would then move to work for a handful of startups, including Zoom Platform and CogniToys. “I’ve been doing this since 1980. I love this business. I love it because I get to work with people who are young and passionate,” Stolar said looking back on his career. “I’m one of the old gray haired guys in the industry, but it’s wonderful to work with all this young talent.”

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Topics: PlayStation, Sega, Sony

Ewan Moore
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