I had the same problem, here's what fixed it for me and another person I know.
Right-click your shortcut that launches the game, then select properties. Select the compatibility tab and then select the following: 1) Run this program for compatibility mode for: [Windows 95] 2) Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution 3) Disable visual themes
I'm not sure which of these three options or which combination of them fixed the problem, but it works perfectly with all three. Now the game no longer crashes at launch (in my case). Hope it works for you.