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Bernard "Bernie" Stolar is an American businessman who worked in the video game industry for several important companies. His career started at Atari where he worked initially in the coin-op arcade division and eventually moved over to the home division in charge of platforms like Atari Lynx. He served as President of the company. He also founded Pacific Novelty, an arcade cabinet manufacturer that produced four games: Shark Attack, Thief, NATO Defense, and The Amazing Adventures of Mr. F. Lea.
Before the North American release of the PlayStation home console, Stolar became the first executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America where he was in charge of business development and all content on the PlayStation platform. Stolar is remembered for his controversial policies on what games would be permitted release in America, most notably banning RPGs and 2D games, which he felt were "too nerdy" to represent the fledgling console's public image, and didn't properly demonstrate the PlayStation's processing power.
The PlayStation sold well during its first holiday season in the U.S., and Stolar, after leaving Sony, accepted an opportunity to helm Sega of America as president and COO. Stolar instituted several of the same policies that he used at Sony while working for Sega, including denying the North American release of Grandia. After the Saturn's failure in North America, Stolar and Sega began concepts for a new console, one which would eventually become the Dreamcast.
Stolar is also remembered for stating at the 1997 E3, two years after the Saturn's release, that "the Saturn is not our future" and insisted that Namco should not be allowed to release Tekken games on the Saturn in North America during a televised interview. Namco had already confirmed support for Sega's console starting with Soul Calibur, prompting confusion regarding what he was trying to say. He worked with Namco so they would not release Tekken on Saturn but instead release the game on Dreamcast. The Tekken line was likely a stab against Sony and its next generation plans, as Namco later confirmed that the PlayStation 2 would receive Tekken games.
Insider reports suggest that Stolar overruled his Japanese superiors by pricing the Dreamcast for launch at $199. Reportedly, Sega wanted to set the price at $249 to generate profits immediately. The launch of the Dreamcast was the most successful commercial console launch in the history of gaming selling over US$300mln of hardware and software in its first week of launch. Stolar's decisions eventually led to his dismissal from Sega.
In December 1999, Stolar joined Mattel as President.
In late 2005, Stolar became an advisor and director at Adscape Media, an in-game advertising company. His support contributed to securing venture capital in early 2006, establishing key relationships with game producers, and the company's eventual acquisition by Google in early 2007. Stolar served as Google's Game Evangelist from the sale of the company until he left for GetFugu, Inc. in early April, 2009.
On October 5, 2006, Oasys Mobile, Inc. announced that Stolar would assume the role of Lead Director.
On April 6, 2009, GetFugu, Inc. named Stolar Chief Executive Officer. Stolar officially remained in this position for just under a year. In an SEC filing dated April 2, 2010, GetFugu revealed that Stolar, along with three other top executives, had resigned.
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