Who had this on their 2023 bingo card? Wimbledon, the world's most prestigious tennis tournament, has embraced the power of battle-royale behemoth Fortnite. It has a brand new Race to Wimbledon mode.
This is surely the game's most unexpected collaboration yet and with Fortnite previously featuring content from Alien, DC, Marvel and even the chance to play as England captain Harry Kane, that's saying something. Real-life tennis star Naomi Osaka won't be at SW19 this year, but she can be if you own her 'skin' in the game.
If you've ever wanted to see Indiana Jones, Goku from Dragon Ball Z or Bruno Mars in their Wimbledon whites on centre court then simply enter the creative island code 8443-5461-2402. From here you'll be able to play the Race to Wimbledon mode, a mad dash through an obstacle course dodging strawberries and tennis balls that could win you tickets to the Wimbledon final. That's right, if you beat Sir Andy Murray's time of 4 minutes 45 seconds, you'll have the chance to enter a draw for men's singles final tickets.
The Race to Wimbledon experience is in fact not an officially endorsed Epic games experience, but it's amazing to see what can be created in Fortnite's creative mode by professionals. Fortnite may have started as a shooter (remember the Save the World mode?) but has long since become a creative hub for games of all kinds of genres.
Amazingly, this isn't actually Wimbledon's first foray into gaming. In 2022 it created a Roblox experience, Wimbleworld that has had millions of players. This is a concerted move to engage younger audiences with a tournament that perhaps hasn't always chimed with gen z. Who knows, maybe one day we could be eating virtual strawberries and cream from home in our Apple Vision Pro. Roblox and Fortnite are both amazing platforms to get young people into coding and programming. It's great to see institutions such as Wimbledon embracing the creative powers of these titles, but we can't help but feel that this wasn't in the plan at the first tournament in 1877. Saying that how long does the tournament last each year? A fortnight.