I have had enough conversations with Kevin, in which enough details we discussed that it gives me a confidence he was licensed. Whether that license was allowing him to do things he did is a different question. It is certainly possible, given Kevin's experience level, that Kevin may not have fully understand what he could and could not do.
On a side note, it is certainly 100% clear he has he a license for EoD
A year ago I spoke with an old friend of mine who is a C-level guy at Fox, while our conversation was more about family and life stuff, I did ask him about licensing since I was curious about with all that was going on, and I know he has been involved in that for many years. I did not ask him about any specifics about Predator, since I had no reason to (although pretty sure I mentioned it during the conversation).
It was clear from that conversation that any licensing deals he signs off on have a limited timeframe. That is done for many reasons, including ensuring a license is not tied up too long for a particular product that may never make it to market. They also do it since they want to get better terms if a product has done well for a manufacturer who wants to keep using the license, where clearly the license has value to that manufacturer. In addition, they recognize in that case, that the R&D expense has now been recovered, and there is more room for them to get a bigger license fee from future sales (often the licenses have an increasing license fee at different production levels for the same reason).
Based on that conversation, it would seem to me that Kevin is now beyond that window of time, and likely needs to re-license to continue. This is purely conjecture on my part, based on what I know, I have not seen the contract, and as I said, I did not ask for specifics on Predator. I would tend to think that given where Kevin is with production, that they would be open to extending the license, since it seems clear he is ready to bring the product to market. I do have to wonder what impact this has on his negotiating position and the cost of the license.
As far as cost of production a prototype, having built a couple of custom games, I can tell you from a shear 'parts cost', you are looking at $5K if you were only using 'common' parts. However, his ramps are not common, so he likely had a significant cost (molds for the ramps are likely $5K or more). The cost to develop the artwork, engineer the playfield, software, etc if a far more significant cost. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours writing software, creating art, coding dots, sound, etc. for each of my games, so I would estimate that even for a prototype, you are looking at $100K minimum to develop a playable prototype -- if you were actually paying people to do the work.