Bernie Stolar, a pioneer in the video gaming industry, former president of Sega of America, and former vice president of Sony America passed away at the age of 75, according to his acquaintances.
Stolar was famous for being the leader of the US launch of the PlayStation and Dreamcast systems. He assisted in assembling original games for the PlayStation’s debut. Crash Bandicoot, Ridge Racer, Oddworld Inhabitants, Spyro The Dragon, and Battle Arena Toshinden are just a few of the video game properties he signed with Sony. He was also the president of Atari.
Purchasing Visual Concepts for Sega of America and founding 2K Sports was one of Stolar’s direct ideas. And while you can say a lot of different things about the quality of 2K games such as WWE 2K or NBA 2K. It doesn’t change the fact that they have been making some of the most popular sports games since the 90s. Partially thanks to Bernie Stolar.
Long story short, if you had fun with video games in the 90s, this guy probably directly contributed to you getting to play them. Some of the decisions he made probably still have lasting impacts on the console, and broader videogame markets of today.
Stolar joined Adscape Media as a director and consultant in late 2005, and he later sold the business to Google for $23 million. He then became Google’s games evangelist and his goal was to convince them to enter the gaming industry.
At age 68, Stolar was STILL running ambitious game startups. Hoping to further leave his imprint on the gaming industry, as if his legacy could get any more badass. He ran companies such as GetFugu, Zoom Platform, the Jordan Freeman Group, and CogniToys.
After almost 40 years of working in the industry, Bernie Stolar passed away. May you Rest in Peace you massive legend.
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