I rolled the win 7 machine back to a restore point of September 6th and disabled automatic updates. The restore point allowed me to reinstall Emperor. It works again. I was never able to install on my win 8.1 machine nor on my upgrade to win 10. My newer machine probably came with the update that disabled the game. Must be one of the security updates.
I am having the exact same problem. Worse yet, I installed Emperor on a win 7 machine, played a few times and BANG. Stopped working and can't reinstall with the exact same problem as the win 10 machine. I'm thinking we are the victims of a windows update. I unwind playing Emperor. Now I'm irritated. I'm going to see if I have the list of auto updates on the 7 machine and try to backtrack. Let you know if I find an answer.