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Farewell Bernie

Bernie Stolar, a man of many words and just as many critics, has finally gotten canned and in this editor's opinion, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!" *Ahem*. This editorial looks at parts of the videogame life of Bernie Stolar and Sega of America.

Bernie Stolar (BS from now on...how fitting ^-^) came on to the videogame scene to launch a strange console from Sony called the Playstation. BS worked hard to get third party support for the Playstation and he landed some big names; however, the games for the playstation were not that great, but they were selling and that's all that matters, right? With a few exceptions (Tekken), the Playstation was starting to turn into a bland system with nothing but sports games and some fans were starting to complain and cry out "Where are the RPG's!?!". Enter Popolocrois Story and Arc the Lad 1 & 2, three games that would have bolted the Playstation to new levels but were sadly rejected by BS. BS bluntly stated that RPGs don't sell well and US gamers don't like them. There was also the whole situation about Konami and Policenauts. Policenauts, a prequel to the cult hit Snatcher on Sega CD, was slated to be released on both Saturn and Playstation in the US. However, BS and Sony decided that they would not let this game come to our shore because of the fact that the main character in the game smoked throughout the game and it's not a good example to kids playing videogames (BS was probably still under the impression that only 5 to 10 year old kids played videogames back then). After that, Konami cancelled the Saturn version because they didn't think a Saturn-ONLY version would make enough money. Not too long after those events, BS was packin' his bags, and sniffin' pink papers.

Looking for a lifeline in times of trouble, Sega picked up ol' Bernie out of the gutter and made him COO/President of Sega of America, a company that was being destroyed because of poor marketing for the Saturn, bad business decisions and lack of trust from gamers. Sadly, the once great days of Sega (the Genesis/Tom Kalinske years) seemed to be coming to an end and the new days of BS were here. It was clear that BS was hired for one reason and one reason only, to kill the Saturn and that he did. Rather than putting up a fight with Sega of Japan, BS bent over backwards to kiss their butts and he slaughtered the Saturn like a helpless lamb. Constantly ignoring titles that would sell (like Grandia) made even the most mild Sega fan bitter, but what really put the stake through the heart of Sega's loyal gamers was not porting all parts of Shining Force 3. It was a huge mistake and Sega sent the message loud and clear that said "We don't care about the US gamers". A sad-sad day for Sega of America and BS.

With what few fans Sega of America had left, they burned them at the stake time and time again. In 1997 Sega pulled a stunt at E3 that involved Working Designs (their best third party company IMO) and after that, Working Designs broke away from Sega enraging gamers everywhere (including me). Even more, Sega furthered their stupidity with their attack on "DaveZ Saturn Page" sending their slimy lawyers after him saying that he couldn't use the domain www.sega-saturn.com even though this was the biggest and best Sega site on the net where Sega fans came together to talk and read about the company they love. Sega didn't care and eventually the domain was terminated. Attacking your user base, very smart Sega, very smart.

By now, BS was starting to hype the Dreamcast (Sega's new system) and live out his final days at Sega. Making many press statements that were just absurd and making a fool of himself many times over, Sega finally decided to end BS's career at Sega.

As we stand at the present, Sega must leave Bernie behind and focus on getting their gamers back and asking for forgiveness for their many sins. If they can win the gamer's trust back, they will be very successful once again. As for Bernie Stolar, who knows what's up next for him, but as much as I dislike him I still wish him all the best in whatever he does, but I hope he stays away from the videogame industry forever. I'll end this editorial with a few of Bernie's best quotes, and my comments on them. Enjoy!

Famous quotes:

"The Saturn is not the future of Sega!"

That won a lot of people over I'll tell ya =P

"I think (consumers) are bored of the PlayStation. I think all the games, for the most part, look alike. When you go to the store and you see eight first-person shooters, what is the difference? You see driving games and they all look alike."

You're the one who made the Playstation like that *sheesh*.

Interview with Gamebuyer:

Game Buyer: Do you think the lack of backward compatibility is a problem?

Bernie Stolar: No.

Bernie your nose just grew about 15 feet after saying that.

"On paper, Sony's machine sounds impressive, but the fact is, it's still on paper,"

This guy is a riot isn't he? =)

"Tekken’s over."

Ah, that's the kind of statement that's supposed to make Namco feel good. Smooth Bernie ^_~.

BERNIE STOLAR
1997-1999

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