The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta (opens in new tab) seems to have unintentionally confirmed a feature that many players are significantly less excited about than 20v20 battles and nocturnal skirmishes with night-vision goggles: loot boxes. They aren't actually featured in the beta, which has only a limited selection of content from the full game's competitive multiplayer mode, but YouTuber Nero discovered a user interface element that confirms they exist in some capacity in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (opens in new tab).
The user interface element referring to loot boxes appeared in Nero's after-action report after they hit beta rank six. Here's a still image of the screen - you can see "Lootbox: Common Supply Drop" appears in the "Unlocked" section in the lower left.
This was likely an oversight, since you can't actually earn loot boxes in the beta. Plus, games don't usually call them "loot boxes" any more. When Treyarch added loot boxes (opens in new tab) to Black Ops 4 (opens in new tab) a few months after launch, they were called "reserve crates". That's another thing - even though Call of Duty games have added more microtransaction options like loot boxes in recent years, they tend to wait a few months after launch to implement them. We've reached out to Activision for any comment on this apparent leak and will update this story with any response.
Spotting the loot box unlock here could indicate that Modern Warfare will launch with them, or it could be early confirmation that players can expect them to arrive in the game as a post-launch update. Activision previously confirmed that Modern Warfare is "eliminating the traditional season pass," adding maps and other post-launch content to the game for free. The company pursuing other business models to make up for that lost revenues is no surprise, but with the backlash against paid loot boxes in recent years, fans couldn't be blamed for hoping Call of Duty would leave those behind too.
See what else is on the way this year with our list of new games 2019 (opens in new tab).