I think Epic was so confident about that silly 1984 video, they didn’t think it would get to this point. Up until now, Epic only saw the fun part and hoped Apple will be forced to change its rules. I think now they’re less optimistic and are taking the matter more seriously.
In short, it didn’t go as well as Epic thought it would.
Apple, watching Epic’s struggle, is now so sure of its own victory, it made a decision as crazy as kicking out such an important developer. Epic and Apple in the past used to hold hands very often. I myself saw Fortnite for the first time in the keynote of WWDC 2015. Many games, including some Apple Arcade games, rely on Epic’s Unreal Engine. Who knows what it would for the future of game development for Apple’s platforms. I don’t know how even Apple could pull this off.
In short, I don’t think it’ll go as well as Apple thinks it will.