Loot boxes have been getting a pretty bad rap lately, with both Destiny 2 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War adopting loot crate style micro-transaction programs, and Activision has patented at least two matchmaking algorithms designed to increase the likelihood of players shelling out for DLC and loot boxes. Despite gamers' efforts, the micro-transaction systems aren't going anywhere any time soon as even the ESRB has defended the practice.
So even though Call of Duty: WWII's are only cosmetic, the game still includes a mission that forces you to watch other people open them. Because Sledgehammer Games have a really wicked sense of humor.
Call of Duty: WWII's social space Headquarters features a mission that can only be completed by watching other players open loot boxes that fall from the skies onto the beaches of Normandy. The quest is one of various daily missions Headquarters tasks players with. In this case, the mission Loot Spectator requires you to sit down and watch three players open the game's loot boxes.
This mission is, of course, not required to complete any campaign or part of COD: WWII, but is included among the game's various multiplayer Orders, which can be completed for Social Score points and XP boosts. Loot Spectator currently earns players 25 Social Score points.
So, it isn't a critical mission at all, but rather is just a really tongue-in-cheek way for the devs to respond to the recent loot box hate that's taken over the gaming world in recent months. Because if you hate loot boxes so much, well, you can sit there and watch other people open them.
Gotta say, I kind of like this response from a dev. It's got just the right amount of spite in it to speak to me on a pretty visceral level.