At the opening of Kojima Productions' Los Angeles studio
last week, studio head Hideo Kojima withdrew a 2011 statement indicating the company's internally-developed FOX Engine would be available for licensing to schools and small developers.
"Right now it's a bit too difficult," Kojima told Gamasutra. "While, yes, the engine has been shared around internally at Konami, a lot of maintenance will be involved if we're to get the FOX Engine in a workable enough state to license it. [As a result] at the moment there are no plans to license it to schools or other organizations."
Kojima Productions has been leveraging its new FOX Engine heavily in recent press conferences and talks, including a lengthy demonstration of the engine's next-gen capabilities
at the most recent Game Developers Conference.
However, at the engine's first public demonstration
held at the University of Southern California in 2011, Kojima told an audience comprised mainly of interactive media students that the FOX Engine would have a localized version tailored to classroom and independent development. The UI that was shown off promised a nearly code-free visual work environment, making it accessible to a wide range of incoming developers.
It's easy to understand why the engine -- while pretty to look at -- would prove tricky to finesse into a saleable product. So, keeping FOX internal to Konami for the present time makes sense, even though the about-turn is likely to be a disappointment to students eager to give it a spin.
"Of course, we're always open to discussing it with companies one-on-one," Kojima said, during last week's open house. "But open licensing is off the table for now."