Update: We've been informed that details surrounding the Battlefield: Bad Company beta have yet to be hammered out, but that the beta is still on track. As soon as we hear specifics regarding the beta we'll be sure to pass along the news. In other words ... stay tuned.

In a move that comes from far, far left field, EA and DICE just announced that they'll be holding an open (yet limited) Battlefield: Bad Company multiplayer beta starting next Monday, March 17th. Access into the beta is open to North American and UK residents and keys can be obtained through IGN and its sister sites including TeamXbox. What we are sure of is that U.S. residents will have a second way to gain beta access by heading to GameStop and plopping down a Bad Company pre-order to obtain one of the 5,000 beta keys being offered.

As far as multiplayer specifics go, the Bad Company beta will feature two multiplayer maps and the multiplayer mode "Gold Rush". And just like betas previous, DICE will use all the data they mine from their Bad Company beta to further tweak and improve upon the game before its release. Speaking of a release date, DICE confirmed that Battlefield: Bad Company will in fact make a June 2008 release ... pending any more setbacks.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.