Casey’s Contraptions (no longer available) was well-liked on the iPad by critics, but failed to make much of a commercial dent; and with Rovio’s rebranding, it won’t even have what minimal recognition the original name would have brought it.
There’s a big shadow out of which Amazing Alex has to step. The plus side is that Rovio Mobile is going to be able to set Amazing Alex in the limelight and should be able to turn its huge Angry Birds fan base to this new game and set them loose. But the success of Amazing Alex is probably going to rely less on just how good it is and more on how well Rovio is able to leverage its own brand. People need to know the name “Rovio Mobile” so that when they see a game from Rovio hit the App Store, they think, “I loved Angry Birds, so I need to check this out.”
Do people surfing the iTunes App Store know Rovio’s name? Do they know the makers of Angry Birds at all? Some certainly do, but it’s tough to say just how recognizable the brand is. Amazing Alex’s success level will likely be a good barometer for figuring out whether Rovio is a name people are coming to know and trust. Long term, it will likely not be the name Angry Birds that continues to sell games for Rovio, but the Rovio name itself: Amazing Alex is bound to be a test for just how powerful that name has become.