This seems clear-cut to me. Yes, Epic willfully disregarded the App Store guidelines last year, and Apple had cause to terminate its developer account. But, just this month, Apple said that Epic could come back if it agreed to follow the guidelines. Epic promised to, but instead of following through, Apple now says it won’t even consider lifting the ban for potentially five years.
If they weren’t going to let Epic back into the App Store, just say so. Or at the very least make some wishy-washy statement about how the situation would need to be reviewed thoroughly or something. But don’t lie.
This is not the way to build trust.