Call of Duty WWII Players Can Watch Each Other Open Loot Boxes

In a time when the existence of loot boxes containing random prizes is a sore subject among gamers, Activision makes it rain, baby. Call of Duty: World War II turns unboxing random items into a spectator sport.

Call of Duty’s communal multiplayer hub is where players can form parties, practice shooting, watch videos, accept missions and participate in a variety of training exercises. It’s also where players open their supply drops, which are loot boxes containing various cosmetic upgrades and the odd squad experience boost. Players with a box to open pop smoke, and a crate falls from the sky, opening wide for all to see its contents.

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That’s right, anybody in the hub with you can see what you’ve just unboxed, and you can see theirs. A notice appears in the lower left corner of the screen when a player is opening a drop. Should they score a rare weapon skin or modification, the hub lets everybody know. Watching other players unbox their loot isn’t only allowed, it’s encouraged. One of the first daily missions I selected, “Loot Spectator,” required me to watch other players open three supply crates. The reward for doing so? A supply crate.

Honestly? It’s kind of neat, especially when you get a group of people gathered around, dropping boxes like they’re hot.

Call of Duty: World War II launches November 3 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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So, at first I was annoyed by this blatant profiting of addictive tendencies that loot boxes are becoming.

But then, after watching this a few times, I have to say the chest opening animation is actually pretty cool and has some real ‘oomph’ to it. And the way the cards flip over with a brief flash of their quality so that I’m sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what it could be is a pretty intense rush!

And sure it’s not me opening these packs, and yeah that does make me a little jealous at seeing these other players get cool things in the visible public space, but a quick hop to the store is just a convenient button press away. And there I see that for just the low low price of like, $9.99, *I TOO* could get those cool things! And they’ve got VALUE PACKS! Those are packs that have added value, you see! I know that I have a money problem and sometimes make impulsive, unsound financial decisions, but this tingling feeling and the rush is just too good to pass up.

Look, I get sidetracked, but my point is that these claims of by-design, insidious, psychological manipulation are pretty much unfounded and have no basis in reality.