Ark has been quite a journey for me. I've been playing since shortly after it entered EA and have now spent almost 1500 hours exploring The Island and Scorched Earth.
I initially spent $30 on the game, but I have since bought copies for three friends during various sales and the Expansion Pack for $19.99; bringing my total to over $100. It was worth every cent.
The experiences I have had in Ark are unlike any other game, somehow it manages to build complex and intricate experiences using fairly basic elements. The environments are beautiful and well crafted, the creatures are superbly designed and animated, the storyline is rich with characterization and suspense, and very well written, and there is no shortage of tasks to take on and goals to set; from massive subterranean caves to explore, to diverse bosses and challenging apex predators to face off against.
If I had known that Ark would come to mean so much to me and bring me so much joy, I would've dropped $60 on it for sure. Hell, I would drop $80, and then I'd buy every scrap of Expansion Content and Collector's Items I could get my hands on to boot.
You should too. This game and this Dev Team are worth it. As time goes on, I trust more and more people will come to see that.