How much did firing Bernie Stolar ruin the Dreamcast's chance of success?

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#1 Posted by STXSambodog (236 posts) -

As you know it Bernie Stolar was responsible for making the Dreamcast initially a huge success in North America.I'm curious if the firing of Bernie Stolar was a major factor in the demise of the Dreamcast.

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#2 Posted by MAILER_DAEMON (45906 posts) -
Not the demise of the DC, but the demise of Sega. By announcing that the Saturn "was not our future," he basically gave a vote of no confidence in the product, so stores stopped buying it and people stopped making games for out outside of Japan. Ideally a console maker can end one console and begin another (GC to Wii, Xbox to 360) or allow some cross-over for a while (NES to SNES, SNES to N64, PS1 to PS2, PS2 to PS3), but instead you had over a year where Sega had no revenue coming in.
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#3 Posted by mijahi (895 posts) -

What ever happened...it saddens me. I was late to the DC but have absolutely come to love it! And like most...I'd really like to have seen a bigger NA library. So who or whatever was responsible for the downfall of the DC really limited what could have been a big following imo.

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#4 Posted by caryslan2 (2439 posts) -

I don't think he would had made any difference, even had he stayed on board throughout the Dreamcast's lifespan. The PS2 stole the thunder of the Dreamcast, and the hype machine was so powerful in regards to the PS2, that I don't think Sega could have done anything to stop it. Add Nintendo and Microsoft to the mix, and you had a battle that Sega was destined to lose.

After the failure of the 32X, and Saturn Sega simply did not have the resources left to fight against three oppoents that had more money and resources at their disposal and were boasting more powerful hardware.

Also, we need to keep in mind that this is the same man that watched the Saturn sank in the US, and failed to do anything beyond saying "The Saturn is not our future" He had a horrible stance on RPG titles, which was dangerous when you consider that the Saturn was a well-known RPG console in Japan.

He did some great things with the Dreamcast, such as fighting to lower the launch price in the US and trying to get the modem installed by default in the Dreamcast. However, I don't think there was anything he or anyone else could have done to save the Dreamcast.

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#5 Posted by STXSambodog (236 posts) -

Bernie Stolar is in no way responsile of Sega' fall.It was Sega of Japan' fault.BTW didn't you read the QUESTION?!!!!?
Bernie Stolar was the main reason the Dreamcast was initially a success!

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#6 Posted by caryslan2 (2439 posts) -

Bernie Stolar is in no way responsile of Sega' fall.It was Sega of Japan' fault.BTW didn't you read the QUESTION?!!!!?
Bernie Stolar was the main reason the Dreamcast was initially a success!

STXSambodog

While the Dreamcast was intinally a success, you have to remember that Sony surrounded the PS2 with so much hype, that the Dreamcast simply lost most of its momentum from the successful launch.

To answer your question, I doubt Bernie Stolar could have made much of a difference in the end. What could he have done differently that would have saved the Dreamcast? "Said the Dreamcast is not our future" and begged Sega for another system? Refused RPG or niche titles because they "appealed to nerds?"

The Dreamcast was facing a losing battle with the PS2 riding on massive hype, and Nintendo and Microsoft readying their own systems for launch. Sega was shoved out of the market, and like I said before, barring a true miracle worker at the helm, nothing would have saved the Dreamcast.

And you can't ignore how Bernie Stolar handled the Saturn in the US. Yes, I'm aware that SOJ made things difficult for SOA, but you can't blame the Saturn's failure on simply not having a Sonic title. Stolar refused to bring many of the titles that were successful in Japan over to the US Saturn and went on to claim "The Saturn is not our future" at E3 97'. The result was many publishers and developers dropping games that they planned to bring over to the western Saturn that had been planned for release(X-Men Vs Street Fighter, Lunar Silver Star Story Complete) and providing the final straw that caused stores to pull the Saturn off store shelves. This caused Sega to have nothing on shelves for over year between the Saturn and Dreamcast.

Like I said before, I applaud the man for fighting SOJ on the Dreamcast' launch price and wanting the modem as standard with the system. I've sure SOJ caused him alot of problems that made things worse, but I highly doubt he could have saved the Dreamcast in the end.

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#7 Posted by jasper061992 (1152 posts) -

[QUOTE="STXSambodog"]

Bernie Stolar is in no way responsile of Sega' fall.It was Sega of Japan' fault.BTW didn't you read the QUESTION?!!!!?
Bernie Stolar was the main reason the Dreamcast was initially a success!

caryslan2

While the Dreamcast was intinally a success, you have to remember that Sony surrounded the PS2 with so much hype, that the Dreamcast simply lost most of its momentum from the successful launch.

To answer your question, I doubt Bernie Stolar could have made much of a difference in the end. What could he have done differently that would have saved the Dreamcast? "Said the Dreamcast is not our future" and begged Sega for another system? Refused RPG or niche titles because they "appealed to nerds?"

The Dreamcast was facing a losing battle with the PS2 riding on massive hype, and Nintendo and Microsoft readying their own systems for launch. Sega was shoved out of the market, and like I said before, barring a true miracle worker at the helm, nothing would have saved the Dreamcast.

And you can't ignore how Bernie Stolar handled the Saturn in the US. Yes, I'm aware that SOJ made things difficult for SOA, but you can't blame the Saturn's failure on simply not having a Sonic title. Stolar refused to bring many of the titles that were successful in Japan over to the US Saturn and went on to claim "The Saturn is not our future" at E3 97'. The result was many publishers and developers dropping games that they planned to bring over to the western Saturn that had been planned for release(X-Men Vs Street Fighter, Lunar Silver Star Story Complete) and providing the final straw that caused stores to pull the Saturn off store shelves. This caused Sega to have nothing on shelves for over year between the Saturn and Dreamcast.

Like I said before, I applaud the man for fighting SOJ on the Dreamcast' launch price and wanting the modem as standard with the system. I've sure SOJ caused him alot of problems that made things worse, but I highly doubt he could have saved the Dreamcast in the end.

QFT. I agree entirely.

I got my DC back in June 02 on my Birthday, the year it was discontinued in Europe!

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#8 Posted by mariokart64fan (20783 posts) -

it still wouldnt last . i mean come on ,

nintendo 64 playstation 1 had more units sold then it did ,

then ps2 came and added to the fire ,

dc came to early , that a fact giving satun only a 4 yr run ironically microsoft had done the same thing to 360 their lucky people stud by their side

i mean come on ,

when dc was 1 yr into its life nintendo answered the call and released its gamecube so did microsoft xbox

do you realy think dc can out do 3 other competitors against a total of 5 different consoles at the time dc was released in 98 n64 was just picking up

lets do the math

you put in the datng consoles-such as the n64 and ps1 where people werent ready for a change

then you add in new consoles 1-2 yrs later like

playstation 2 nintendos gamecube and microsoft xbox ike some one said sega had not a chance,

and sega has no one to blame but them selfs ,they rushed genesis add -ons for 400 , then they went 1 yr later after them and rushed out saturn to compete with n64 ps1

then they can it early so dreamcast could try to compete with existing consoles ps1 and n64 as well as compete with new upcoming c onsoles its sort of what sony is trying to do with ps3 , , but the only difference is sega had no revenue coming in i dont know about sony how are they doing it or how nintendo pulled it off ,but i guess it is money, other markets sega never went else where in the gaming industry or else where to sell other stuff to compensate for their loses

sony has other areas such as phones tvs

nintendo has handhelds various toys shirts advertising on tv etc

sega only had dreamcast , they did not have other means , they could have had a strong handheld but they blew that with the game gear fiasco

sony is the only one so far to not fail but not beat nintendo at the same time , , their in but they sitll cant grip nintendo away ,

but hey they stil making profits off of psp ,

thats the thing , if you cant make a profit your losing ,

nintendo was making good profits from gameboy

not from its gc

now its come full circle because nintendo fond and exploited a way to be successful as theywere i the 80s and 90s ,,

this is somthing sega co uldnt pull through because all they did in transalation from saturn to dc was

add online , double graphics power but you know what ,

the controller, i mean they took away some buttons in the process ,

theres only 4 action butts 1 start button and l r a dpad and stick ,,

if they had kept the 6 button layout , added the stick theyd be better off but hen again they didnt push anything ground breaking ,

nintendo and sony have been the only ones really pushing the industry forward

microsoft did this gen with the online push , dlc etc

but it was all nintendo and sony pushing for new standards , , not just graphics im talking about gameplay controllers etc all the things around it

and when you add key ips to the mix you get your wiis or your ps2s or ps3s or what ever success you hear

but when you layback and just rush into things you get the following

faulty hardware - ya you heard those 1000s of complaints about blown controller ports due to third party accessories

and it seems like its only the dc with that problem and the 360 , , these 2 consoles were rushed 1 succeeded and 1 failed

that how it goes you also run into problems

markting it

making ips for it such as fpses rpgs

these are some of the things that could have kept sega afloat but hey what can i say they did not listen to any of hteir fans ,,,,

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#9 Posted by NamelessPlayer (7729 posts) -
Bernie Stolar RUINED Sega. "The Saturn is not our future" aside, he's also the reason why a lot of the Saturn's best games are import-only. (He was originally working for Sony in the early PS1 years, but they were smart enough to give him the boot.) Also, the Saturn's early cancellation really pissed off the Japanese (it did well there, so they saw this as a move to appease the West at their expense, I guess), so the Dreamcast failed to garner much support overseas, particularly developer support. Of course, Sega had issues even before Stolar, with the rivalry between American and Japanese divisions as well as the poorly-handled Genesis/Mega Drive add-ons.
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#10 Posted by GulliversTravel (3062 posts) -
Not the demise of the DC, but the demise of Sega. By announcing that the Saturn "was not our future," he basically gave a vote of no confidence in the product, so stores stopped buying it and people stopped making games for out outside of Japan. Ideally a console maker can end one console and begin another (GC to Wii, Xbox to 360) or allow some cross-over for a while (NES to SNES, SNES to N64, PS1 to PS2, PS2 to PS3), but instead you had over a year where Sega had no revenue coming in.MAILER_DAEMON
The Saturn was probably not a profit maker, and even then, Sega money has always come from the Arcades.
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#11 Posted by SmashingX (625 posts) -

not by much cause when it came out my dad was like "They've got a new game box out with better graphics." and i was like "I want a ps2 when it comes out." =p

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#12 Posted by STXSambodog (236 posts) -

Namelessplayer-Bernie Stolar was not responsible for Japan Only Sega Saturn titles for not making it in the US.It was Sega of Japan's fault.

Here is why:
http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-index.php?page=SegaBase+Saturn+p5&bl=y

http://diehardgamefan.com/2008/09/19/dreamcast-segas-last-scream/

Asa you can see namelessPlayer-Sega of Japan not Bernie Stolar is both responsible for killing the Company of Sega and preventing Japanese import RPGs(Such as my Beloved Sakura Wars) from being released in the US.Bernie Stolar is completely innocent,Sega of Japan is the one to blame.

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#14 Posted by NamelessPlayer (7729 posts) -

Namelessplayer-Bernie Stolar was not responsible for Japan Only Sega Saturn titles for not making it in the US.It was Sega of Japan's fault.

Here is why:http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-index.php?page=SegaBase+Saturn+p5&bl=y

http://diehardgamefan.com/2008/09/19/dreamcast-segas-last-scream/

Asa you can see namelessPlayer-Sega of Japan not Bernie Stolar is both responsible for killing the Company of Sega and preventing Japanese import RPGs(Such as my Beloved Sakura Wars) from being released in the US.Bernie Stolar is completely innocent,Sega of Japan is the one to blame.

STXSambodog
I stand corrected, then...though it does remind me again that Sega of America and Sega of Japan really needed to get along. Among other things, I recall the Dreamcast having two independently-developed hardware specifications, one by America and one by Japan. One was Black Belt; the other was Katana. I don't recall too much, other than that the Black Belt spec was going to have 3dfx handle the graphics, but that really pissed off the Japanese branch when they learned about it, whose Katana spec called for a PowerVR chip. Somehow, Katana won out, becoming the Dreamcast that we all know today.
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#15 Posted by caryslan2 (2439 posts) -

[QUOTE="STXSambodog"]

Namelessplayer-Bernie Stolar was not responsible for Japan Only Sega Saturn titles for not making it in the US.It was Sega of Japan's fault.

Here is why:http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-index.php?page=SegaBase+Saturn+p5&bl=y

http://diehardgamefan.com/2008/09/19/dreamcast-segas-last-scream/

Asa you can see namelessPlayer-Sega of Japan not Bernie Stolar is both responsible for killing the Company of Sega and preventing Japanese import RPGs(Such as my Beloved Sakura Wars) from being released in the US.Bernie Stolar is completely innocent,Sega of Japan is the one to blame.

NamelessPlayer

I stand corrected, then...though it does remind me again that Sega of America and Sega of Japan really needed to get along. Among other things, I recall the Dreamcast having two independently-developed hardware specifications, one by America and one by Japan. One was Black Belt; the other was Katana. I don't recall too much, other than that the Black Belt spec was going to have 3dfx handle the graphics, but that really pissed off the Japanese branch when they learned about it, whose Katana spec called for a PowerVR chip. Somehow, Katana won out, becoming the Dreamcast that we all know today.

For once, this cannot be attributed to the SOJ's interference. Sega was completely willing to use the 3dfx specs of Black Belt, but 3Dfx leaked details and technical specifications about the then-secret project in their Initial Public Offering in 1997.

Because of this breach, Sega opted to go with Katana.

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#16 Posted by NamelessPlayer (7729 posts) -

[QUOTE="NamelessPlayer"][QUOTE="STXSambodog"]

Namelessplayer-Bernie Stolar was not responsible for Japan Only Sega Saturn titles for not making it in the US.It was Sega of Japan's fault.

Here is why:http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-index.php?page=SegaBase+Saturn+p5&bl=y

http://diehardgamefan.com/2008/09/19/dreamcast-segas-last-scream/

Asa you can see namelessPlayer-Sega of Japan not Bernie Stolar is both responsible for killing the Company of Sega and preventing Japanese import RPGs(Such as my Beloved Sakura Wars) from being released in the US.Bernie Stolar is completely innocent,Sega of Japan is the one to blame.

caryslan2

I stand corrected, then...though it does remind me again that Sega of America and Sega of Japan really needed to get along. Among other things, I recall the Dreamcast having two independently-developed hardware specifications, one by America and one by Japan. One was Black Belt; the other was Katana. I don't recall too much, other than that the Black Belt spec was going to have 3dfx handle the graphics, but that really pissed off the Japanese branch when they learned about it, whose Katana spec called for a PowerVR chip. Somehow, Katana won out, becoming the Dreamcast that we all know today.

For once, this cannot be attributed to the SOJ's interference. Sega was completely willing to use the 3dfx specs of Black Belt, but 3Dfx leaked details and technical specifications about the then-secret project in their Initial Public Offering in 1997.

Because of this breach, Sega opted to go with Katana.

Ah, so that was what the commotion was about. That probably led partly to 3dfx's eventual demise and acquiration by NVIDIA, making bonehead moves like that.
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#17 Posted by slingshot_ylo (130 posts) -

I don't think you can pin the Dreamcast's failure entirely on Bernie Stolar's departure from the company. Sega had some serious problems in the years before the DC was released. Everyone wants to credit the PS2 (or rather the hype surrounding the PS2) for killing the DC, but in reality, I think Sega was it's own worst enemy. Sega had burned a lot of their fans over the years and lost most of their credibility with gamers. A lot of the reasons why this happened could probably be pinned on Stolar's predecessor, Tom Kalinske, but Stolar definitely felt the hangover from them.

Sega had a legitimate hit in the early 1990's with the Genesis, but then they flooded their market with expensive pseudo-system add ons that they barely supported. The Sega CD came first in 1992, the 32X followed in 1994, and in between those two you had redesigned versions of the Genesis and Sega CD and the combo CDX thing. They pushed all this junk out the door and at the same time told us that the Saturn was coming soon (at a whopping $399 price tag) as well something they called the Neptune (for $200) that was never released.

Look at this from a gamer's perspective, particularly a young gamer without a lot of disposable income: I already bought a Genesis a in 1990 for $159, a Sega CD in 1992 for $299, a 32X in 1994 for $159, and then a Saturn in 1995 for $399. Let's not forget the Game Gear I bought for $150 as well as the massive amount of money invested in games for these systems and useless peripherals (Activator or Menacer anyone?). The Sega Cd lasted until late 1995 with only a handful of games worth purchasing, the 32X died about the same time and really had nothing to offer at all. The Saturn stumbled out of the gate and hobbled along until 1998 though in reality, it died long before then. So then Sega comes along and says that their developing a new system that they'll actually support? Yeah right...but I was still there to pick up my DC on 9-9-99 and it barely lasted two years. They got another $199 from me for that system. You burned me Sega...again.

The saddest part of this all is that the DC was a good system, and the best Sega had put on the market since the Genesis. They just couldn't overcome Sony's hype machine and their own ruined reputation as a console maker.

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#18 Posted by STXSambodog (236 posts) -

slingshot-I never said that the firing of Bernie Stolar is what mainly killed the Dreamcast.Iam just curious how major was Sega's firing of him a permanent blow to the chances of Dreamcast succeeding in the market.

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#19 Posted by slingshot_ylo (130 posts) -

slingshot-I never said that the firing of Bernie Stolar is what mainly killed the Dreamcast.Iam just curious how major was Sega's firing of him a permanent blow to the chances of Dreamcast succeeding in the market.

STXSambodog

Okay, after re-reading my post, that first sentence could have been worded a little better. The point I was trying to make was that, in the grand scheme of things, I think his firing had a minimal impact on the DC's death. He did do some good things to push the system when it was first released, but Sega had too much history and an unreliable reputation to overcome. I think that perception of Sega, along with the hype surrounding the PS2, is what ultimately led to it's failure.

The perception and the hype: Why would anybody want to throwdown $200 for this system now when the company who makes it will probably kill it in a year so. Why not save your money and wait till next year's release of the 'newer, better, more powerful system' whose manufacturer has a better track record from the last console generation.

Sorry for any confusion.