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Bernie Stolar, former SEGA chairman and founder of Sony Computer Entertainment America, dies

bernard stolaraffectionately known as Bernie Stolar, has died at the age of 75. He is one of the legends of the video game industry, former president of SEGA of America and founder of the North American division of Sony Computer Entertainment, what we know today as Sony Interactive Entertainment. Venture Beat has communicated his death after meeting him through friends of Stolar himself.

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Bernie Stolar’s resume is littered with all kinds of roles at major video game companies: Starting his career in 1980 with an arcade company in California, Stolar made the jump to Atari to start working precisely on the division of arcadethough it didn’t take him long to move into the home console department.

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From Atari to PlayStation, and from there to SEGA

After passing through Atali Lynx, Sony signed him up for international expansion in early 1997. It was then that he established himself as a founding member of Sony Computer Entertainment America, a stage in which he is recognized as a fundamental actor in the launch of such iconic video game franchises as crash bandicootRidge Racer or Spyro the Dragon.

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From Sony to SEGA, specifically to its American division, coinciding with the launch of SEGA Saturn. By March 1997 he had already become CEO of SEGA of America and the following year he was promoted to president. A couple of years later, in 1999, it was he himself who announced SEGA Dreamcast with a very small price window (199 US dollars) that delighted the gaming community, although it did not like it so much in the Japanese division of the company, according to VGC, causing a somewhat abrupt departure from SEGA.

In the years that followed, Stolar went on to hold senior positions in companies such as Mattelwhere he had success with a series of Barbie video games, and came very close to Google in 2005, sowing the seed of interest in video games in a company that at that time did not take this sector into account.

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