Is there any way to tell how many players are currently playing certain pc games?

Hello Experts,

Is there any possible way of being able to tell how many users are currently, actively online playing pc games?  Reason I am asking is because I want to purchase an older first person shooter game specifically, "Soldier of Fortune Payback", which isn't that old, but a few years old, but I don't want to buy it if there is nobody online playing it.  How do I know how many players are online right now playing that game as well as other games before I waste money on the game(s)?
Brent JohnsonAsked:
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Anthony RussoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I did a few rudimentary searches in Google for SoF online players, Sof current server stats etc. None turned up any info though which wasn't surprising.

Companies don't usually release those numbers as it can deter sales as the population drops, especially after a few years. Not something readily available to the public in most cases.
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Anthony RussoCommented:
Only the major AAA titles really hold their online component up after a few years, and then they even die down as newer versions are released. I cannot locate numbers for SoF but I wouldn't expect there are many playing online. If you have friends that will be playing, then it is worth it. Otherwise I would pass.
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Brent JohnsonAuthor Commented:
Thanks for looking that up, but how did you go about finding out?  My question was is it possible and if so, how do you find this out, not just "are there people playing this game online right now?"
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