Bernie Stollar, one of the most important video game executives of the 1990s, has died at the age of 75, GamesBeat Reports.
Stolar began working in the video game business in 1980, first setting up a coin-operated company before moving to Atari, doing everything from working on their arcade games to later home console efforts to, among all things , leading development at Lynx, Atari’s infamously bulky portable device.
He then moved to Sony where he helped found the US division of the company’s PlayStation brand, where he served as the company’s senior executive vice president. While at Sony, his biggest accomplishment was arranging a number of studios and properties for the early PlayStation game library – forming relationships that in many cases continued into 2022 – including Ridge RacerAnd the Bandicoot Crash And the Spiro.
After the PlayStation’s launch, Stolar moved on to rivals Sega, where he didn’t mess around. as such GamesBeat remember:
“When I got to Sega I immediately said, ‘We have to kill Saturn. We have to stop Saturn and start building new technology. That’s what I did. I brought in a new team of people and a clean house. There were about 300 employees, and I downsized the company to 90 to start rebuilding,” Stollar said.
While Sega Stolar was in existence, he signed another long-term, buying studio called Visual Concepts that would become 2K Sports, which continues to publish NBA 2K series to this day.
Stolar’s post-’90s career was marked by spells at Mattel (as he pushed the company to double its production Barbie video games) and Google, where he served as the company’s first-ever “Games Evangelist”, a position he tried to use to support the idea of a game streaming service, something the company fizzled out at the time and then…He’ll revisit a decade later, long after Stollar left, before he totally spoils it.
“Total alcohol fanatic. Coffee junkie. Amateur twitter evangelist. Wannabe zombie enthusiast.”