It's about the time of year when we should be learning more about the next Call of Duty game, and a new leak from the depths of Battle.net itself may point to an upcoming announcement. An encrypted build for what might be the next CoD recently appeared on the client under the codename "Slipstream."
This information comes courtesy of Helba, the owner and operator of BlizzTrack (opens in new tab), an independent site that keeps track of new assets and builds uploaded to the Battle.net client. Helba said on Twitter (opens in new tab) that they discovered the Slipstream logo "right alongside Call of Duty 2021 assets in Battle.net." In a separate tweet, Helba also shared backend code that suggests Slipstream (also referred to as "Fore" in internal dev builds, apparently) will have an alpha before its release, which would be pretty standard for the next Call of Duty.
The stylization of the Slipstream logo (which you can see below) is roughly consistent with strong rumors that this year's CoD game will return to World War 2. As Charlie Intel (opens in new tab) points out, Slipstream may also be a reference to the 2008 World War 2 radio drama (opens in new tab) of the same name. Until now, we've been referring to the project by its last known codename, Call of Duty: Vanguard. Back in May, Activision finally confirmed that Sledgehammer is leading development (opens in new tab) on the game.
As for the name Slipstream, it's probably best not to read too much into it. Studios will often assign codenames to games whose real names haven't been announced or decided, and they often bear little resemblance to the final title. The logo, on the other hand, may share some characteristics with the final branding for whatever Call of Duty: Vanguard/Slipstream/Fore turns out to be.
So far, Helba is also the only person claiming to have seen all of this Slipstream business on Battle.net, so take this with a grain of salt. This is all getting a bit confusing, Activision. Maybe it's time for a proper reveal?