At the moment I'm not sure what to make of this decision from Merlin. In some ways I was half expecting either this or a significant price increase for this year, but it is sad to see they've gone with the option of removing it altogether.
I do think the pass has been a somewhat troubled product from the start. It took a while fot staff to know what it was, and throughout it's lifetime there have been numerous inconsistencies with things. Merlin never did seem to manage to get the right balance with the Golden Ticket options - there were some amazing experiences on there, but at the same time there were also some not so good. I will miss the Priority Parking that came with the pass - it was especially useful during the Halloween season.
It wouldn't surprise me to see a new top tier product introduced at some point - either another pass similar to VIP but priced much higher, or a top tier membership. It will be interesting to see the reaction if this is the case.