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Thread: Gaming legend Bernie Stolar passes away

  1. #16
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Virtua Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    More of this silly stuff.

    Can anyone actually make a list of all the games that Bernie Stolar prevented from being released on the Saturn in North America? I'm so curious. What were all the Sega-developed RPGs that weren't localized?

    Dragon Force? Shining Wisdom? Magic Knight Rayearth? All localized by Working Designs - but all released in Japan well before Stolar was hired by SOA.
    Linkle Liver Story?
    Dragon Force II? Shining Force III pt. 2/3? Both released past 1998 in Japan - add in localization time and no one had any hopes for the Saturn at that point.

    What else? Maybe Princess Crown?

    Seriously, the amount of silly-bad incorrect information about Stolar and the Saturn is astounding.

    I even see Stolar being blamed for games like Radiant Silvergun not being released in NA. It... wasn't published by Sega!

    Meanwhile, SOA during the Genesis era was horrible with RPGs. So many of Sega's great RPGs got left in Japan, or barely got localized with no marketing, or were left to other publishers to localize.

    I just find it hilarious that Stolar is blamed for the Saturn's failure because he blocked the release of "RPGs".

    A more curious question is: How did all of this Stolar = boogieman stuff develop? Was it just frustrated Saturn owners looking for someone to blame? Was it a carryover from his time at Sony where he had a reputation for not releasing 2D games? Was it a result of a Victor Ireland's very vocal disapproval of Stolar?

    He implemented the no-rpg policy on Playstation (and it's still debated in Sony circles).
    Maybe you forgot but on Saturn we still missed a lot of Japanese games and RPG since mid 1996-1997. Working Design worked only in US, so Europe was left behind. You don't like Princess crown or linkle liver story? What about Grandia, Devil Summoner, Sakura Taisen etc.?
    Let alone the more "arcade" games like Thunderforce, Radiant (yeah) and others that could've been easily localized.
    If a console you are selling remain without games, it's your responsibility, not third parties...

    Of course it wasn't all his fault, but he was in charge of SOA, and usually the boss gets all the blame for the entire team, simple, just like Peter Moore.

    Recognizing also his mistakes / shortcomings doesn't cancel all the good things: he rebuilt SOA, got Visual Concepts and prepared the Dreamcast to be a real successful console (only to have it destroyed by Sega Japan some years later... lead by Okawa, the one who saved Sega, it's not all black or white...), but we can't be hypocrites, Saturn wasn't the priority and it shows.

    But I always think that with people like him or Nakayama, Sega would have remained a hardware company

    SOA on Genesis: I remember games like Phantasy Star 2 and Sword of Vermillion that were even bundled with 100 pages full color guides, majority of rpg were localized, and in that era RPG were niche, even that deserves respect.


    In my opinion the the "Stolar - boogieman" started on Playstation with the "no-rpg", and continued with "saturn's not our future" misquote from sony propaganda magazines and later the Working design thing.
    Last edited by Virtua Hunter; 06-28-2022 at 10:13 AM.

  2. #17
    End of line.. Shining Hero gamevet's Avatar
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    And yet, this no RPG thing didnít stop Beyond the Beyond from making it stateside. It was Beyond being a horrible RPG. We did get the awesome Wild Arms after that.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  3. #18
    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    Life?!...What console is that on?

    [PSN] Segata-S //[Switch] FC-SW 3892 5228 2895 //[XBL]Dogi99

    Remake Geist Force!


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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker fr0zenbuttox's Avatar
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  5. #20
    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Man, RIP. Guy paved the way for the Dreamcast.

    Let's face it, Bernie Stolar was not the reason for SoA's problems with the Saturn. We all have our rose-tinted glasses with this system 25 years later, but it wasn't a good system:

    --Two CPUs were impossible to develop for.
    --Burned customer and developer goodwill after the Sega CD and 32X add-ons
    --No new Sonic sequel, and Yuji Naka not sharing the NiGHTS Engine.
    --Constant jealousy from SOJ to SoA regarding success of the consoles.
    --The surprise launch and a $100 price point that burned goodwill with developers
    --The following games (among many others) not being released on Saturn that were cultural touchstones:

    Metal Gear Solid, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider II, Resident Evil II, Castlevania Symphony of the Night (crap port in Japan only), Mega Man Legends, Ridge Racer, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Silent Hill, Spiderman, Street Fighter Alpha 3 (again, Japan only) Time Crisis, Tekken, Gran Turismo, Parappa the Rapper, the list goes on and on.

    And no, Virtua Fighter and Virtua Cop are not as good as Tekken and Time Crisis. Even the great PS1 games that were on Saturn, like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, etc. all look worse because the hardware was too hard to develop for.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



    Feedback Thread: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...ack&highlight=

  6. #21
    End of line.. Shining Hero gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Man, RIP. Guy paved the way for the Dreamcast.

    Let's face it, Bernie Stolar was not the reason for SoA's problems with the Saturn. We all have our rose-tinted glasses with this system 25 years later, but it wasn't a good system:

    --Two CPUs were impossible to develop for.
    --Burned customer and developer goodwill after the Sega CD and 32X add-ons
    --No new Sonic sequel, and Yuji Naka not sharing the NiGHTS Engine.
    --Constant jealousy from SOJ to SoA regarding success of the consoles.
    --The surprise launch and a $100 price point that burned goodwill with developers
    --The following games (among many others) not being released on Saturn that were cultural touchstones:

    Metal Gear Solid, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider II, Resident Evil II, Castlevania Symphony of the Night (crap port in Japan only), Mega Man Legends, Ridge Racer, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Silent Hill, Spiderman, Street Fighter Alpha 3 (again, Japan only) Time Crisis, Tekken, Gran Turismo, Parappa the Rapper, the list goes on and on.

    And no, Virtua Fighter and Virtua Cop are not as good as Tekken and Time Crisis. Even the great PS1 games that were on Saturn, like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, etc. all look worse because the hardware was too hard to develop for.
    I think that it goes beyond those games. The target audience of Sega was male gamers between the ages of 15-25, and they accomplished that with a plethora of sports titles on the Sega Genesis. Sony became that cool console for that age demographic and successfully launched their own sports studio with 989 sports. Sega of America failed to have good sports titles from their own studios and with EA dropping the ball on Madden for 1995, they were left with virtually no NFL game for NA to speak of, other than the horrible Mike Ditka's Football.

    One of Bernie Stolar's prime focuses for the Dreamcast was to re-establish the Sega Sports brand for the West and they very much succeeded in making that happen. When you look at the best sellers for the DC in North America, it was the NFL2K and NBA2K games that managed to break into the top 5 best sellers for the console. I remember going to houses of friends and coworkers during the 16-bit and 32-bit era. A lot of those guys pretty much only had sports games for their Genesis and PlayStation consoles, and it wasn't just a couple of titles.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  7. #22
    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    RIP, however conroversial a figure he was

    digging Gryson & Virua Hunter's posts here


  8. #23
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtua Hunter View Post
    He implemented the no-rpg policy on Playstation (and it's still debated in Sony circles).
    Maybe you forgot but on Saturn we still missed a lot of Japanese games and RPG since mid 1996-1997. Working Design worked only in US, so Europe was left behind. You don't like Princess crown or linkle liver story? What about Grandia, Devil Summoner, Sakura Taisen etc.?
    Let alone the more "arcade" games like Thunderforce, Radiant (yeah) and others that could've been easily localized.
    If a console you are selling remain without games, it's your responsibility, not third parties...
    You don't seem to understand much about how the video game industry operates.

    I will be patient and try to explain.

    Games like Grandia, Devil Summoner, Thunderforce V, and Radiant Silvergun were not published or owned by Sega. What does that mean? Even if Bernie Stolar wanted to publish them, he couldn't. They weren't Sega's games. Other companies paid Sega licensing fees to release those games on the Saturn. These companies are called third-party publishers. These third-party publishers decided not to release those games in the US because the Saturn market there was near-dead.

    You also say "Europe was left behind" - is that meant to be a strike against Stolar? He worked at Sega of America (notice the last word).

    Of course it wasn't all his fault, but he was in charge of SOA, and usually the boss gets all the blame for the entire team, simple, just like Peter Moore.
    Stolar only became president of SOA in 1998. The Saturn was dead by then. See my first post in this thread.

    SOA on Genesis: I remember games like Phantasy Star 2 and Sword of Vermillion that were even bundled with 100 pages full color guides, majority of rpg were localized, and in that era RPG were niche, even that deserves respect.
    No, the majority of Sega's Japan-developed RPGs were not localized.

    SOA did not localize:

    King Colossus
    Rent-A-Hero
    Crusader of Centy (published by Atlus in North America - yes, SOA turned down a Sega-developed RPG only to have a third-party publish it)
    Sorcerian
    Surging Aura
    Dragon Slayer
    Dragon Slayer II

    And the few RPGs that SOA did localize? Most got the shit treatment. Just read the treatment that Shining in the Darkness got from SOA.

    It's also famous that SOA almost didn't localize Phantasy Star IV. Games like Landstalker got no marketing.


    I think your post is a good example of why people dislike Bernie Stolar - they simply do not understand the video game industry and were looking for someone to blame when they didn't get the games they wanted.

    The truth is that SOA had a long-standing policy of not localizing most RPGs (Why? they cost more to localize, there was thought to be no market for them, they're more expensive to manufacture).

    The truth is that the only significant Sega-owned RPGs not published by SOA on the Saturn after Stolar began working there were parts 2 and 3 of Shining Force III, and they were released in Japan after the Saturn was all but dead in the US.

  9. #24
    Underground Sega Nut BonusKun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    And the few RPGs that SOA did localize? Most got the shit treatment. Just read the treatment that Shining in the Darkness got from SOA.
    I know I'm late to the party on this one but I'm still pissed nonetheless over it. I loved Shining in the Darkness and I only discovered it on a chance at a local Babbages. Me and my old high school friends sat down and did graph maps even tho there was a map spell along with documenting the majorly hidden items from all the monsters in the game. There was a spell later on you learned called "Muddle II" iirc that would randomly make monsters give you items that you could not obtain otherwise in the game. Some of them were stupidly strong and broken as all hell like the Super Flail. Long story short, Shining in the Darkness had a lot of extra things in it which were very deep at the time in terms of discovery and exploration of the maps.

    Great fucking game overall. & sad as fuck SoA didn't feel like promoting it.


    The truth is that the only significant Sega-owned RPGs not published by SOA on the Saturn after Stolar began working there were parts 2 and 3 of Shining Force III, and they were released in Japan after the Saturn was all but dead in the US.
    This is another fuck you I hated. The 1st game came out but the last two chapters plus the premium disc were left in Japan & don't even get me started on the watered down version of Grandia we got on the PS1.
    05/05/15

  10. #25
    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I think that it goes beyond those games. The target audience of Sega was male gamers between the ages of 15-25, and they accomplished that with a plethora of sports titles on the Sega Genesis. Sony became that cool console for that age demographic and successfully launched their own sports studio with 989 sports. Sega of America failed to have good sports titles from their own studios and with EA dropping the ball on Madden for 1995, they were left with virtually no NFL game for NA to speak of, other than the horrible Mike Ditka's Football.

    One of Bernie Stolar's prime focuses for the Dreamcast was to re-establish the Sega Sports brand for the West and they very much succeeded in making that happen. When you look at the best sellers for the DC in North America, it was the NFL2K and NBA2K games that managed to break into the top 5 best sellers for the console. I remember going to houses of friends and coworkers during the 16-bit and 32-bit era. A lot of those guys pretty much only had sports games for their Genesis and PlayStation consoles, and it wasn't just a couple of titles.
    Shame, because I really like World Series Baseball 98 on Saturn, one of the best baseball games ever. NBA Jam T.E. is great as well. Worldwide Soccer is fun too. I thought Madden got a release on Saturn though?
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



    Feedback Thread: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...ack&highlight=

  11. #26
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Virtua Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    You don't seem to understand much about how the video game industry operates.

    I will be patient and try to explain.

    Games like Grandia, Devil Summoner, Thunderforce V, and Radiant Silvergun were not published or owned by Sega. What does that mean? Even if Bernie Stolar wanted to publish them, he couldn't. They weren't Sega's games. Other companies paid Sega licensing fees to release those games on the Saturn. These companies are called third-party publishers. These third-party publishers decided not to release those games in the US because the Saturn market there was near-dead.

    Sega had a console to sell. If you wait for the goodwill of third parties, you're as good as finished (unless your name is playstation).
    Sega could and should've published those games itself (or create the conditions to make the localizations happen, it's their job after all).

    Maybe you don't know how the industry work, but a platform holder can act also as a publisher for third parties...


    You also say "Europe was left behind" - is that meant to be a strike against Stolar? He worked at Sega of America (notice the last word).
    Don't try, we were talking about Working Design not Sega of America, WORKING DESIGN (notice the two words), and WD was active only in the US, that's what I meant.


    Stolar only became president of SOA in 1998. The Saturn was dead by then. See my first post in this thread.
    Stolar was already in Sega in 1996, and by 1997 he was the COO of SOA, Saturn was still alive.
    But I said different thing: the team leader usually take the responsibility for the mistakes of the entire team.
    When your favourite sport team loses, you usually blame the coach, it's normal.



    No, the majority of Sega's Japan-developed RPGs were not localized.

    SOA did not localize:

    King Colossus
    Rent-A-Hero
    Crusader of Centy (published by Atlus in North America - yes, SOA turned down a Sega-developed RPG only to have a third-party publish it)
    Sorcerian
    Surging Aura
    Dragon Slayer
    Dragon Slayer II

    And the few RPGs that SOA did localize? Most got the shit treatment. Just read the treatment that Shining in the Darkness got from SOA.

    It's also famous that SOA almost didn't localize Phantasy Star IV. Games like Landstalker got no marketing.


    Crusader of Centy was published by Sega in Europe, without the Atlus deal, it would've been published by Sega even in America.

    few RPG?
    All the main Sega RPG were localized:

    Phantasy Star 2, 3 and 4
    Shining Force 1, 2, CD, even one chapter on Game Gear was localized
    Sword of Vermillion
    Story of Thor
    Landstalker...


    Landstalker no marketing? It was all over the place on magazines, the game was even localized in various languages in Europe.

    https://www.mobygames.com/images/pro...-708164342.jpg

    Land stalker even received a tv spot in Japan with CG graphics, that wasn't cheap marketing at the time

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyN8EZ59Z7k



    There is a lot if misinformation about localization during the Genesis era, Sega did a really good job with their RPG especially for the time.

    As for Shining in the Darkness, I would take what Takahashi said with a grain of salt. How can a brand new IP, a 1991 RPG published by Sega America, could have reached 300k in US "without marketing"? Hint= there was some marketing indeed.
    Last edited by Virtua Hunter; 07-02-2022 at 11:28 AM.

  12. #27
    End of line.. Shining Hero gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Shame, because I really like World Series Baseball 98 on Saturn, one of the best baseball games ever. NBA Jam T.E. is great as well. Worldwide Soccer is fun too. I thought Madden got a release on Saturn though?
    EA skipped 1996 on 32-bit, because several members of their Madden team quit and formed Tiburon. So, the Saturn didnít have a good NFL game for the 1995 holiday season. SEGA would not have their own NFL game until they released NFL 97 and that game was panned in reviews.

    Yeah, I loved those WSBB games and 98 was awesome. World Wide soccer is also great, but that sport wasnít so popular here, in the Ď90s.
    Last edited by gamevet; 07-02-2022 at 11:46 AM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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