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Sega of America and SCEA founder Bernie Stolar dies at 75

Former Sega of America president and founding member of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Bernie Stolar, has died aged 75 years old.

According to GamesBeat, Stolar – whose career started in 1980 when he set up his own coin-op arcade company – died in California. He had always been a very candid and transparent executive who talked openly about his triumphs and mistakes over the years.

“I loved working for Sony,” Stolar once said, according to GB. “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. I wouldn’t have left Sony if I hadn’t also lived in fear of getting fired along with everyone else, though.

“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,” he added. “I brought in a new team of people and cleaned house. There were 300-some-odd employees and I took the company down to 90 employees to start rebuilding.”

“I’ve been doing this since 1980. I love this business,” Stolar also said in a 2015 interview, reflecting on the industry and how it’s changed. “I love it because I get to work with people who are young and passionate. I’m one of the old gray-haired guys in the industry, but it’s wonderful to work with all this young talent.”

Bernie Stolar is perhaps best known by players for announcing at E3 in 1997 that “the Saturn is not our future”. Here is a “forensic retrospective” of the Sega’s Dreamcast.

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